Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tree fern in a shaft of light

I liked the way this fern in the forest caught the light in a way that makes it appear that it is floating in air. Ferns are common in Costa Rica, and this is one of the more common types of ferns.

Ferns are distinguished from other plants by the fact that they do not produce seeds, flowers or fruit, but they are vascular plants with tissues strong enough to grow upward and erect. They are therefore a bridge between lower life form plants and more developed plants.

Without seeds, flowers or fruit, they reproduce by producing and releasing spores. That is the method of reproduction of plants such as mosses. Yet ferns grow trunk, branch and leaf structures capable of supporting themselves and carrying water and nutrients from the soil to distant leaves. Indeed, in Costa Rica some ferns grow as large as trees.

The fern shown in this photo is, I believe, commonly referred to as a tree fern, which has the scientific name of cyathea multiflora, which is also called helechos aborescente. It grows from sea level to as high as 2,100 meters (6,900 ft.) in damp forests.

Tomorrow I will show you a sample of a popular, adrenaline-rush tourist activity that I have not previously shown on this website, and then we will go on a field trip to the northeastern Caribbean coastal area of Tortuguero.


Sharon said...

This makes such a lovely picture.

m_m said...

Great shot! I like the light and the vivid green!

Gresham Photo Blog said...

Gorgeous. Love the light shining thru the leaves!

brattcat said...

So wonderfully lush!

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