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The Hunt for Hay-Scented Fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula)z

The Hunt for Hay-Scented Fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula)

Saturday 11 August  9:00 to 12:00 pm

There is only one known location for hay-scented fern in the entire state of Michigan, and it is located in Waterloo Recreation Area in Jackson County.  Our mission is to determine weather, or not, the clone is still present , alive, and thriving.  We’ll need several sharp-eyed and intrepid fern hunters who are determined to add this species to their pteridolist.  Associated landscape features and precise coordinates unknown.

This fern is common in Southern Ontario, New York, and New England – but considered threatened in Michigan.  The Michigan colony is obviously far removed from any other distribution. The vernacular name, hay-scented refers to the fronds, which are aromatic when bruised and emit a strong hay or alfalfa-like oder that is particularly noticeable in senescing or drying plants.  It was not found in Michigan until 1954; then it was not seen again until its recent discovery, in 2006, by MNFI’s John Fody. 

The trek will include pertinent discussions regarding any other plants that we might encounter.  Plant list unknown.

Meet at Zou Zou’s Café at 101 North Main Street Chelsea, MI 48118 at 9:00 am for coffee and a briefing.   We’ll carpool from Zou Zou’s.  Equipment: should you accept the mission, be ready for anything! There are a lot of known unknowns here, and unknown unknowns.  Failure is not an option!