• Canoers

    Ozark

    National Scenic Riverways Missouri

Ferns

Nature and Science

Maidenhair fern

Ferns are primitive but beautiful plants that add a touch of charm to many a forest trail and rocky outcropping. One of the more interesting species in the park is the "walking fern" which is found around the mouths of caves, springs and other cool damp places. This fern has long thin frond. When its tip touches the ground, a new fern sprouts. As this "baby" grows, its fronds touch the ground a few inches away and another new plant begins. It's as if the fern is "walking" across the soil. Braken ferns can be found throughout the park, but most ferns are restricted to cooler, wetter areas.

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