Polypodium sp   Unknown Polypody

Polypodium sp

On an expedition to photograph Allium sphaerocephalon (Round-headed Leek) in the Avon Gorge, I came across an unusual Polypody. It wasn't anything like P. vulgare (Polypody) because the height (about 50 to 60 cm), leaf-shape, leaf texture and colour were all wrong.

Looking it up in about four different reference books it seems to have some the features of P. cambricum (Southern Polypody) although I didn't think to look at the sori. The leaves are rather triangular and have some serrations, the bottom pinnules point away from the mid-rib and it was tall and stood upright in the woods. This plant prefers limestone areas according to most texts and the largest concentration of it is in the Bristol/Somerset area of the British Isles which is exactly where it was found.

Doubt has been cast on my original identification of P. cambricum by a botanist who knows these Polypodys better than I do and I still haven't been shown a definitive Polypodium cambricum. So other possibilities are that this is an oversized Polypodium interjectum (it was more than 40 cm tall) or perhaps a hybrid between P. interjectum and P. cambricum: P x shivasiae.

I'll have to go again and see if I can see P. cambricum and the hybrid.

Woods on Avon Gorge, 2nd August 2005

Added on December 14th 2005, amended 10th May 2009, updtaed 17th July 2011

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict