Arrival of the giants

Two of the spectacular new plants for the tropical glasshouse are the Giant Horsetail, Equisetum myriochaetum, and the Giant Elephant Fern, Angiopteris evecta.  Today, a cardboard box labelled ‘Live Plants, Fragile’ marked the arrival from Edinburgh Botanic Garden of cuttings from these species.Angiopteris evecta and Equisetum myriochaetum in their packaging from Edinburgh Botanic Garden

Angiopteris evecta and Equisetum myriochaetum in their packaging from Edinburgh Botanic Garden

Both grow best in a damp but free draining substrate so were potted in an orchid bark/Seramis mix.

A freshly potted cutting of Angiopteris evecta

A freshly potted cutting of Angiopteris evecta

Although traditionally treated as separate groups, the horsetails and the ferns, the use of DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis shows horsetails to be a specialist branch of the ferns.  Both Equisetum and Angiopteris represent fairly early branches of the fern family tree, along with Psilotum which we already grow in profusion.  Of the three, only Angiopteris looks like a conventional fern.

A newly potted young plant of Equisetum myriochaetum

A newly potted young plant of Equisetum myriochaetum

About Alastair Culham

A professional botanist and biologist with an interest in promoting biological knowledge and awareness to all.
This entry was posted in Annual Fund, Evolution, Species. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Arrival of the giants

  1. Pingback: Thank you Annual Fund – Year 1 ends this month! | Tropical Biodiversity

  2. Pingback: Angiopteris evecta | Tropical Biodiversity

Leave a Reply