Golden polypody and shoestring ferns

Cabbage palms, the state tree of Florida, often serve as hosts for epiphytic ferns. Probably the most common species is the golden polypody, Plebodium aureum, whose large pinnate leaves are seen here growing amid the leaf bases in the crown of a cabbage palm. The creeping stem of the golden polypody is covered with reddish to golden scales and gives rise to the alternative common name, goldfoot fern. Below the golden polypody is Vittaria lineata, another fern species that grows almost exclusively on cabbage palm trunks. The drooping linear leaves are reminiscent of short green shoelaces.

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