Curly-grass Fern

Schizaea pusilla Pursh

Image of Curley-grass fern[+ ZOOM] Curley-grass fern PPA

Description: Curly-grass Fern is probably the most famous plant of the Pine Barrens. It was first described in scientific literature by Frederick Pursh (Flora Americae Septentrionalis, 1814) who was with a group of botanists when the group happened upon a population near Quaker Bridge in 1805. The fertile (spore producing) fronds look fern-like, but the sterile fronds look like tiny curly blades of grass. It seems to be always associated with Atlantic White Cedar, usually on the hummocks at the bases of the trees, but typically only in relatively early successional situations, such as spots where there is some exposed soil. You can find it year-round.

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