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Re: Bracken



At 08:44 AM 6/9/00 -0400, Ronald Orenstein wrote:

Bracken is practically worldwide in distribution, and can certainly form dense and extensive thickets. However, according to Stewart's "Paleobotany and the Origin of Plants" (I only have the first edition, so this may be out of date) the genus Pteridium, to which bracken belongs, is only known from the Tertiary, though some Jurassic and Cretaceous fossils may be assignable to the large and varied family Polypodiaceae to which it belongs.

I hope I never implied I thought bracken *itself* was found in the Cretaceous. But pre-grass some mixture of ferns from the families Polypodiaceae, Marsileaceae, and Salviniaceae, along with various Isoetales, would have occupied most of the grass-like niches.


plants. And of course bracken is not the only living fern capable of providing concealment; Dicranopteris ferns form high, dense and pretty much impenetrable thickets along forest edge in many tropical areas, including Hawaii.
Didn't know about those.  Not really surprising though.

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May the peace of God be with you.         sarima@ix.netcom.com