Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
from the October 18, 2009 Newsletter, from near Natchez,
RESURRECTED RESURRECTION FERNS
An abundant fern here is the little Resurrection Fern, PLEOPELTIS POLPODIOIDES, shown above.
Its name derives from the fact that when it's even half dry it shrivels and curls into itself in a way that not only makes it look dead, but also conserves its water. This week we've had so much rain that they've stayed "resurrected" from their dead-looking condition.
In my boyhood home of western Kentucky a similar and closely related species, the Common or Rock Polypody, very commonly appeared on boulders in moist, shaded valleys. That species lacks the tiny, circular "scales" dotting the frond's undersurface, seen on the frond between my fingers in the picture.