Uninteresting fern

quaker495August 7, 2014

Does anyone know what this fern is? We knocked away a large dead hedge and these ferns started sprouting in the area that had been shaded. The stems are in a clump and the leaves, so far, don't do much of anything. However, I am inclined to give anything a chance that thrives in poor soil during a drought in Southern California. I'm hoping it will do something more interesting as time goes by.

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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

I'm reasonably certain that's not a fern.

Could you show us a close-up of the flowers?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 12:55AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Looks like one of the Aparagus 'ferns'. ie Asparagus species and not true ferns. I'm not that familiar with them and this one is not fully leafed out but compare with Asparagus densiflorus.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 6:35AM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

It could be asparagus, but I don't think so...I lean toward aster or other composite (desert adapted types with needle leaves)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 8:32AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

If it has or develops thorns on the stems, compare to A. sprengeri. That has bulbous moisture storage roots, impossible to pull up, must be dug.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 8:53AM
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quaker495

Thank you for helping me to sort this out! I don't have any flowers to show you, but here is a closeup of a frond or stem.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:29AM
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quaker495

And one more view of the same frond.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:30AM
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quaker495

No sign of thorns yet. It is still changing a lot day to day. I may have to wait until it gets a little further along before it starts matching up to pictures of your suggestions. Thanks again all!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:32AM
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quaker495

Wait, I take that back: thorns are developing; they are downward pointing from the junctions of the branches. They are still soft so I hadn't noticed them yet.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:36AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

What I thought might be flowers seem to be dark tips of new growth.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 10:09AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

If you look at the bottom left you can see some new shoots which are unmistakably Aparagus spears right down to the scales at the base. The ends of the shoots are also very characteristic. There's no doubt in my mind that it is an Asparagus species.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 11:14AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

No doubt in my mind, either.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 11:57AM
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quaker495

Thanks again everyone. I'll watch for the white flowers and red berries that will make my "uninteresting fern" a bit more interesting.... and I won't let the dog eat the poisonous berries. :)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:56PM
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