Fern fiddleheads seen through foldscope

  • jasveen dua

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In the forest adjoining Ropar wetlands, we could see a lot many ferns. These had rhizomes – the underground stems from which the leaves are produced. The leaves of ferns are large sized and called fronds. These have circinate folding in young leaves. The new young foliage is tightly coiled in a spiral which gradually unfurls as the leaf develops. These unrolling fronds are called fiddleheads. The petioles, young leaves and the rhizomes are covered by thin greenish-white to brownish scales called ramenta

The circinate coiled young leaves of fern were collected from the site and their scales observed under the foldscope. Thin, elongated parenchymatous cells and peg-like outgrowths were also seen from the margins of these scales.

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Thin hand sections of young petioles were also sliced and meri-steles were observed under the foldscope.

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