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Look Up or Down for Resurrection Fern All Over Lafayette, Louisiana

resurrection fern
photo by Debbie Ray

I shot this photo last week in the parking lot across from Cathedral-Carmel because it was such a spectacular example of ‘Resurrection Fern.’ Have you ever wondered what was going on with those ferns that grow on the limbs of our beautiful live oak trees? One day they’re gorgeous and suddenly, one day they’re all dead, then the next thing you know they’re back. They’re known as ‘Resurrection Fern’ or Polypodium polypodioides. They survive by curling up in times of drought and rehydrate when there’s enough moisture. (You will also see it on rocks sometimes if you’re paying attention.) The mechanism by which they do this is being studied and may someday help treat cardiac arrhythmia.

This video amazed me. It’s a one minute time-lapse movie of a Resurrection Fern coming back to life over a two and a half hour period:

 

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