Hybrid Fern

The latest issue of American Naturalist contains an article about a fem from the French Pyrenees – x Cystocarpium roskamianum – a recently formed intergeneric hybrid between parental lineages that diverged from each other approximately 60 million years ago. This is an extraordinarily deep hybridization event, “roughly akin to an elephant hybridizing with a manatee or a human with a lemur”.

x Cystocarpium roskamianum

x Cystocarpium roskamianum

The parents are Gymnocarpium robertianum (Limestone Fern) and Cystopteris dickieana (Dickie’s Bladder-fern), both recorded in Scotland, though neither is known in VC104. We do of course have Gymnocarpium dryopteris (Oak Fern) and Cystopteris fragilis (Brittle Bladder-fern)………

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