With a nerdy yell

... she cried "spores, spores, spores." Look what I found on my microsorum thailandicum (formerly microsorum steerei). Somebody has been getting busy. I guess since they reproduce asexually, the more accurate Idol reference would have been "Dancing with Myself." We all know what that song is really about.

Welp, get your squirrel hair brushes and your field lenses. It's time to get geeky. Don't forget to have a clean paper envelope on hand to collect your spore casings.

Ferns reproduce with spores very much like seed, so if you find some strange dusty bumps under the fronds of your fern, don't panic. It's a sign of good health, and you can save the spores to make baby ferns later (if you are very patient). All you have to do is gently remove the spores with your brush - any small paintbrush will do - and set them aside to dry. I collected my spores on a sheet of white paper, which I then funneled into my envelope. Mark it, and place it in a cool, dry, dark place for a couple of weeks. A drawer is fine.

Photos of "how to sow your spores under glass" are soon to follow. With any luck, my wimpy strap fern will one day rival the specimen at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. If photo depth perception is obscure, let me tell you that this fern was many feet taller than am I. Click for larger view.

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