Spores from the 2021 collection of Anemia wrightii are backed up at the National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation
Wright’s pineland fern (Anemia wrightii)
Thanks to CPC’s new Florida Biobanking initiative, Lydia Cuni and Jennifer Possley from Fairchild’s conservation team ventured out one morning in summer of 2021 in search of spores of Wright’s pineland fern (Anemia wrightii). We were accompanied by Miami-Dade County biologists Tim Joyner and Michelle Huber to a beautifully diverse 20-acre tropical hardwood forest which is part of the County’s Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Past ventures to collect spores of this rare fern have not always produced results, but thankfully it seemed our timing was perfect this year.
Wright’s pineland fern is a very rare species, even by rare plant standards. It’s known only from Cuba, The Bahamas, and Miami-Dade County in South Florida, where it has been documented in just 3 conservation areas and one private property. The species is difficult to distinguish from a widespread native, the pineland fern (Anemia adiantifolia), and in fact, the two seem to hybridize when growing together (based on our field observations). Fairchild now has some tiny-but-healthy spore-grown plants in cultivation, which we hope to grow to a healthy ex situ collection in the next years . . . or decades (this is a very slow grower!).
Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden plans to make a conservation seed collection of this species in 2021 as part of CPC’s inaugural season of the Florida Plant Rescue seed collections initiative.
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