Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Bloomin' Ferns


My ferns are blooming.  I've never noticed such a prolific bloom as this year. And whoever heard of a fern blooming. Little white flowers is what they have.  So little it's hard to see them unless I give you a close-up.





So what are ferns doing blooming. Aren't they supposed to have spores or things like that. To put your mind at rest, these aren't true ferns.  I've always called them asparagus ferns, so I thought they were ferns.  Their foliage bears a resemblance to that of the vegetable asparagus, also from the Asparagus genus.  But, of course, they don't sport those delicacies of vegetables we all steam or boil and put butter on in the spring.  Well, the asparagus I'm talking about aren't vegetables or ferns. I'd always wondered how they could survive the droughts untouched. Now I know. They're from the family Asparagus, but not fern-related.

There are three of them, as far as I can tell. Asparagus sprengeri, meyrsii, and plumosa.  I grow all three and have been pleased each time I see them bloom.  Asparagus sprengeri blooms in the spring and by now has red berries. I'm giving you this link to go see, as my sprengeri have not done well this year, so I didn't torture you with a photo.  But the other two are looking good this year and fall blooming---- so here goes.



 

 
Asparagus plumosa

I'm sure all of you have seen this before. It's a small houseplant up north and a climber here in the south where it's almost like a weed, albeit a pretty one. Each branch that becomes a climber also has thorns on it. Makes it just that more difficult to prune.




 

 

 

 

 


 Asparagus meyrsii

I'm sure you've all seen this one too. It's also called foxtail and other common names that I don't have at the tip of my tongue.

But I like them. They're hardy plants, have a good look next to the other plants and wear a green fuzzy apparel of needle-shaped, prickly leaves that are quite handsome.  So if you haven't learned something, I have. This was kinda fun.

Now you know what I'm doing with bloomin' ferns.



29 comments:

Meredith said...

I just love ferns. I've killed most of mine, because they like more water than I usually give. But my foxtails hang on! Yours look so lovely that I want to reach out and touch them.

evolutionofagardener said...

Those are very pretty. The flowers almost look like snowflakes in miniature pines.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

What pretty textures. The one by the birdbath is fascinating.

Nell Jean said...

I was so relieved to be led on and then see that you really knew what you were talking about, lol. Great Post, illustrates how common names confuse us.

Rosey Pollen said...

I kill ferns like Meredith. These look very healthy and well cared for. Great pictures, thanks for sharing.
Rosey

Jo said...

The look so pretty when they show their little flowers.

Kiki said...

Wow, those are so pretty! What a great post! Love the photos. There is such a delicate sort of beauty about them with all those tiny blooms....fascinating!

dig this chick said...

I had no idea ferns bloom!

J.J. Cedar Glader said...

The aspargales are a very interesting family,decades ago it was always assumed that our orchids of the world hailed from the lily family,but after genetic research was done it was confirmed they had their roots firmly in the aspargales,much to the surprise of world botanists, yes your asparagus ferns resemble the ancestors of all orchids- lovely ferns!

http://epicrazy.blogspot.com/

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Very interesting! I like how that fern resembles a starfish, with it's outstretched 'arms'!

OF SPRING AND SUMMER said...

Love your ferns. Have a good weekend.

Joanne said...

How interesting I had not realised that they flowered although I know they propagate from spores under their leaves.

wiseacre said...

I like the Fox Tails in the garden. I hadn't seen them in anything but a pot before.

joey said...

Wow ... love asparagus ferns ... lovely photos!

LeSan said...

I just love the delicate foliage of those plants. They are so pretty. The foxtail is especially interesting. I think however that I loved the little red shoes best.

Miss Daisy said...

What beautiful ferns! They are bright and vibrant and those buds are really neatlooking. Beautiful pics!

lisaschaos said...

I certainly never knew ferns bloomed!

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Never seen anything like it before :-) Isn't that a great thing about blogging, you learn new stuff every day.

Have a great weekend/ Tyra

Laura Gardens in Desert said...

Beautiful pictures. It's 5:30 am and the green photographs on black background is just setting me right for the whole day! Thank you for your gift from Blotanical!

Sue Swift said...

You're right - they do look good. And extra so with the little flowers.

anartistsgarden said...

I love Asparagus meyrsii, but it wouldn't be hardy in my NW garden. And I did not know ferns bloomed, will now be watching them more closely!

littlewing said...

I've always wanted to grow the ones that get berries but haven't bought any for fear the voles would find them tasty. Humans find asparagus tasty so... Love your "ferns":)

Muhammad khabbab said...

Ferns bloom as well???? lovely post.

Frances said...

Thanks for clearing that up, Mary, I didn't know ferns had flowers either. The ferns you are talking about are such lovely accents in a garden or container. We were able to grow them in the ground in Houston and loved them with ornamental grasses for that foliage contrast. Didn't like those thorns though! :-)
Frances

VP said...

Hi Mary Delle - thanks for your visit over at my place the other day :)

It's good to get some fern education from you. I've not really apprecaited them until recently, but was looking at a bank of wild ones the other day and thought they were an ideal solution for a problem space in one of our town's public plantings :)

Thanks for the information!

Kanak Hagjer said...

Mary Delle, your ferns are beautiful! My Asparagus fern bloomed like crazy this year and I was thrilled! I haven't seen the foxtail variety. That's the prettiest, I think!

Thank you for stopping by my blog the other day. Loved it!!

a tasteful garden said...

wow, those are so cool! and so fuzzy! completely different from my species of ferns over here in new england. i don't think i've ever seen a fern with flowers. thanks for sharing!!

vrtlarica said...

lovely pictures... small flowers look like snowflakes!
Love the closeups.

Olive Branch said...

I love asparagus fern... just can't stand the thorns!