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New Zealand Botany - bigbumble
February 13th, 2007
07:34 pm

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New Zealand Botany
Last winter about this time I took a trip to New Zealand. According to the guidebooks, 80% of the plant species there are unique to the islands. The ferns definitely have a Jurassic Park look to them. New fronds are covered with a black fuzz that gives them the look of a scorched dead branch instead of new growth. The local Maori use the new heads as a design in their art to symbolize new life. So trollhagen , here is a picture of New Zealand ferns behind the






That is my hand by the way.




This is looking straight down at the fern from the top.

Current Mood: nerdynerdy

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From:trollhagen
Date:February 15th, 2007 12:28 am (UTC)
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OK, you are now
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OK, you are now <ding!> my official Garden Ambassador on any trips you take with Pete. :)

You know, ferns are really cool, because they don't have seeds, instead reproducing by spores (little black dots on the undersides of mature plants), which fall off and, under the right conditions, grow into heart-shaped gametophytes that -- wait for it -- sustain themselves through photosynthesis. That's pretty cool. I mean, they're haploid and all and already fending for themselves! Even cooler, these eeny plants are hemaphrodites and the sperm are flagellated which means they "swim" to the eggs. After mitosis, a new plant (sporophyte) grows.

And they look all cool 'n' prehistoric, as you noted.

Ha, are you reading this, Mr. Bradley Walter Metz? Huh? Are ya? See, I did learn something in your class! :)
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From:trollhagen
Date:February 15th, 2007 12:41 am (UTC)
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And as long as I'm being pedantic, islands, being geogrpahically isolated, tend to have interesting/unique flora and fauna, as random mutations (recessive traits) are amplified in small gene pools. Madagascar is another such example, with maybe 70% of its species unique to there. I mean, lemurs and tenrecs and Madagascar palms... oh my! :)
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