Monday, August 2, 2010

Carabao Ferns - an update

A Carabao fern now growing well under the shade.
Compared to the dismal fate of our Tree Ferns, there is much to hope for for our Carabao Ferns. Just like their other giant fern cousins they too were initially left exposed, languishing under the baking heat of the summer sun. As to be expected majority of them went the way of the dinosaurs.

This is how the Carabao ferns look like before they were moved under the mango trees.
The Carabao Ferns came rootless and bare, just lumps of live tissues which resembled the dung heap of a water buffalo. Just like the Tree Ferns, they too tried in vain to sprout new fronds but they just wilted after a few days of exposure to the sun.

This Carabao fern seems to be enjoying its new location under the mango trees.
Over a month ago they finally moved the limbless lumps of ferns under the shade of the mango trees in the orchard. Several days later they began to sprout stems and fronds. It's like they have been given a new lease on life. Now they look alive although I believe they're still not quite out of the woods yet.

Talking to my mother much later on, I learned that they buried the entire lumps of tissues under the ground. I was concerned that they might rot if they get too much water so I asked them to dig them up and expose at least half of their base so they could "breathe". Much to our surprise, most of the lump of tissues were gone. They have been replaced by roots.

Still, because they were following my instructions, they dug up all the Carabao Ferns and exposed whatever is left of their lumpy base and reburied their roots. Now I'm afraid that I might have done more harm than good to these ferns. Had I been told beforehand that they have rooted I would have taken my instructions back.

Other Carabao ferns now showing signs of life after months of stressful attempts at surviving under the sun.

All the images above of the Carabao Ferns with new leaves were taken before they were dug up to expose their base. I haven't called home yet to inquire about their condition after their roots were disturbed. I hope they will recover from this trauma, begin to produce more stems and fronds and eventually grow big and tall.

"Carabao Fern" is the local name for this species of fern. My younger brother says it belongs to the genus Cibotium. I still think they belong to Angiopteris.