Adiante du Canada

Yesterday at the UW Arboretum I happened across this very nice maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum Linn.):
Maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum), Wingra Woods, UW-Madison Arboretum

In the course of looking for interesting factoids about this fern, by the way, I went to the “Literature” tab of the EOL page and clicked on the Biodiversity Heritage Library section, which gave me 12 pages of references. I clicked on the first one – dated 1770 – and sure enough I got a facsimile page of Travels into North America by Peter Kalm translated into English by John Reinhold Forster. He says: “This American maiden-hair is reckoned preferably in surgery to that which we have in Europe,” and a considerable quantity was shipped off to France yearly. Kalm was a Swede and a student of Linnaeus; Forster was a naturalist on Captain Cook’s second voyage. (And Kalm must also be the namesake of the small milkweed bug, Lygaeus kalmii, come to think, which has been plentiful of late.) Anyway, I think the Biodiversity Heritage Library is going to be an enormous time-suck.

The French common name in the title is taken from eFloras Floras of North America.


Leave a comment

Filed under Observations

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s