16. Tree Hugging Fern
The fertile frond produces radiant orange-brown spores, while the non-fertile (normal) frond is oval in shape and fleshy and green in texture functioning like a typical leaf.
The presence of this epiphyte (a plant growing on a plant but not taking food from the host plant) provides another subtle microhabitat for other tiny diverse forms of almost hidden life.
Caution: Please don’t pick a piece of this epiphyte as its rhizome runs like a thin cord or string around the hackberry trunk. If we cut this rhizome we will kill the fern; it gets its moisture from the ground and the rhizome is a stem-like structure that connects the fern to its roots in the soil.