Thursday, February 7, 2019

Polypodium Cambricum (Southern Polypody)


Southern, P.australe, Cambricum

5 separate populations on Hutton Roof


Here are some nice Cambricum from 2013,2014 and 2017 - Hutton Roof Cumbria. Lovely 'deltoid' shapes - One photo shows down gryke and the other on top of boulder - my 2 prized 'Cambricum' areas 

Polypodium Cambricum specimens 1 and 2 (Southern Polypody)
Photo: Lancelot Clark Storth  - 26th August 2017

Emergence from the 2nd week in July
Best - end of August


Population No.1 (Lancelot Clark Storth - CWT)
(approx 20 frond)

Found: 30th July 2014 (approx). This population is found in a different habitat, whereby the above was on a limestone boulder, Population No.1 is found on a limestone pavement midway up on Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT).  The specimen (approx 20 frond) is ledged half way down a gryke (at approx 3ft to the ledge). The gryke which is about 12" wide at the top and has a depth estimated at 6ft. The distance between both Population 1 and 2 would be approx 1/2 mile. 

The plant has been sampled and authenticated by the British Pteriologist Society to be 'Polypodium Cambricum'

 Polypodium Cambricum population No.1 (Southern Polypody)  - Click over to enlarge

Photo: Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) 13th July 2017 showing early unravelling of croziers

Polypodium Cambricum population 1 (Southern Polypody)  - Click over to enlarge

Photo (above): Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) 13th July 2017 showing several croziers

Polypodium Cambricum population no 1 (Southern Polypody)  - Click over to enlarge

Photo (above): Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) 29th July 2017 - note early emergence, some having just unravelled themselves from the crozier.



Polypodium Cambricum population 1 (Southern Polypody)  - Click over to enlarge
Photo: 14th August 2016

Showing very young fronds (to the right hand) where width is almost same as the length

Polypodium Cambricum population 1 (Southern Polypody)  - Click over to enlarge

Photo (above): Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) 30th August 2014


 Polypodium Cambricum population 1 (Southern Polypody)  - Click over to enlarge

Photo (above): Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) 30th August 2014


Polypodium Cambricum population 1 (Southern Polypody)  - Click over to enlarge

Photo (above): Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) 30th August 2014


 Polypodium Cambricum population 1 (Southern Polypody)  - Click over to enlarge

Photo (above): Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) 30th August 2014

 Polypodium Cambricum population 1 (Southern Polypody)  - Click over to enlarge

Photo (above): Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) 30th August 2014

Polypodium Cambricum population 1 (Southern Polypody)  - Click over to enlarge

Photo (above): Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) 30th August 2014

Polypodium Cambricum population 1 (Southern Polypody)  - Click over to enlarge
Photo: Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) 27th May 2017

This photo (above) shows you just how it looks at the finale of its year (May 2017 the following year), meaning it's new years growth starting off around the 2nd week of July (2016) period


Population No.2 (Lancelot Clark Storth - CWT)

Polypodium Cambricum population 2 (Southern Polypody)
Photo: Lancelot Clark Storth  - 8th September 2015

Found: I found this specimen on 10th September 2013. (called Population No.2) which lies towards the bottom of Lancelot Clark Storth, it is located not far from the natural spring on the west side. Above we have fragmented tree canopy.  Here below are more shots of this plant. The plant has been sampled and authenticated by the British Pteriologist Society to be 'Polypodium Cambricum'

Polypodium Cambricum Population No.2 (Southern Polypody)
Photo: Lancelot Clark Storth  - 8th September 2015

Here is another photo (above) showing the top of the boulder with the beautiful 'Cambricum' having got hold.

Polypodium Cambricum population No.2 (Southern Polypody)
Photo: Lancelot Clark Storth  - 26th August 2017


Polypodium Cambricum Population No.2 (Southern Polypody)
Photo: Lancelot Clark Storth  - 26th August 2017

 Polypodium Cambricum Population No. 2 (Southern Polypody)
Photo: Lancelot Clark Storth  - 10th September 2013


Polypodium Cambricum Population No.2 (Southern Polypody)
Photo: Lancelot Clark Storth  - 10th September 2013

Polypodium cambricum No.2 LCS
Showing Population No.2 in Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) today 4th March 2020


Population No. 3


Found: Sunday 14th April 2019 - The Rakes, Hutton Roof
Today I was asked if I would be a Hutton Roof botany advisor (if called upon) with a party from the Westmorland Geology Society whilst they did a walk around the Rakes area. It soon proved beneficial in many ways for I was to find a new population of the rare Polypodium cambricum (Southern Polypody) sitting on the side of a large boulder known locally has the "hanging scar rock". This brings the Hutton Roof populations to 3. 



 Hanging Scar Rock, Hutton Roof 14th April 2019 - a new to me population of  Polypodium cambricum (Southern Polypody) Population No. 3 

Hanging Scar Rock, Hutton Roof 14th April 2019 - a new to me population of  Polypodium cambricum (Southern Polypody) Population No. 3



Hanging Scar Rock, Hutton Roof 14th April 2019 - 
a new to me population of Polypodium cambricum (Southern Polypody)
 Population No. 3




Hanging Scar Rock, Hutton Roof 14th April 2019 -
 a new to me population of  Polypodium cambricum (Southern Polypody)
Population No. 3

 Hanging Scar Rock (side view), Hutton Roof 14th April 2019 
- a new to me population of  Polypodium cambricum (Southern Polypody)
 Population No. 3 


Finding No.3 population is very interesting and shows the fern has taken over parts of a large limestone boulder for its habitat, this is now representative in both Population 2 and also now in population 3 which are about 1 1/2 miles apart from one another on a SW (population 2) to NE (population 3) line.

Interestingly Population 1 chooses a different habitat by growing part way down at approximately 3ft (from a fissure) of a limestone gryke which is approx 12" wide at the opening and the total depth would be at least 6ft. 

I am also indebted to Roger Golding who has kindly give confirmation to this particular plant and also he has carried out some microscope work on this specimen and returned the following results:  Paraphyses are present although difficult to spot and not visible under a hand lens but see microscope photos below).


High number of basal cells mostly 3-4; low number of indurated cells - range 4-8, typically 5-7; annulus bright yellow.  The sori are packed with mature spores which would not be the case at this time of year for interjectum or vulgare.

Here below shows the microscopy photo work kindly carried out by Roger which shows the Paraphyses (Specimen 3)





Population No.4
(unconfirmed 12th May 2020)



Polypodium - likely to be cambricum
found in Dalton Crags at 4' down a gryke
Noted back in 2017 and again on 11th May 2020

It seems to meet all the criteria and is almost a replica to how Population 1 shows itself at about 4ft down the gryke.  It has the same profiled spike which you get with Cambricum, also the shape is more Delta like, and the bottom 3 pinnae are drooping downward.

Population 5
(found on 17th December 2020)
thanks to Martin from Hutton Roof Village

Its a lovely specimen which is growing both on a large boulder and also growing closeby on a old moss covered tree.

Here are the blog and photos I have on this: 

Finding a new Polypodium cambricum on Hutton Roof Crags (17th December 2020)


Today was rather special thanks to Martin who lives in the village of Hutton Roof who so kindly put me on to what he considered to be possible Southern Polypody. He did give me some instructions plus a reasonable gps to find them, but from his notes I had a idea to just were these beauties were.  After all we already had a well established 50 frond population growing from the sides of "Hanging Scar" boulder which was roughly about 100 yards south on a slightly higher elevation.

When Martin first got in touch about these, what excited me most and looking at his photographs was that these were actually growing on trees and for me I had never seen or recorded this species actually growing on trees before from anywhere on Hutton Roof and this just had to be a first.

Clambering up the established nearby footpath with excitement I glanced over to my right hand side, to roughly the area that had been outlined to me and straightaway I noticed a very large boulder (see photo above) ram jammed full of "Cambricum" beauties of all sizes, but some in particular just had some really amazing fronds so big so big which just looked like they could have been sprouting from out of the top of the boulder and some of the larger fronds had the typical droop down fashion which you come to expect with Polypodiums. I was itching to get my camera out and take photos of these rare beauties. I have in the past had large fronds, but some of these were some of the biggest I had ever seen and I have tried to show some photo examples for you to judge.  I took measurement of one particular frond which was a good 12" with a stipe of some 6" bringing a total size of 18" and with a central width of some 7" which is going some. I managed to count at least 60 fronds of which some were really large and similar to the one I have already mentioned. The majority had a good "deltoid" shape look about them just what you like to see in a "Cambricum" and also all the fronds showed the lowest pinnae "inflexed". 

But Martin's examples were clearly found on a tree and not a boulder, but looking more close and sure enough within a yard or two was growing a beautiful but sad tree which had every one of it's branches covered with moss and out of the moss were growing small and much smaller specimens of "Cambricum". I wasnt sure what sort of tree it was and even wondered if it was a dying specimen because it just looked to me that it could well have been (but not sure).  In my excitement of the find I forgot to try and establish just what sort of tree it was.  It just looked like the boulder got the big boys whilst the tree got the kindergarten and babies. On the tree I would have estimated that at least 40 fronds were present.  Some just so small like I had never seen before (see photos).  I am now clear in my mind that the specimens on both the tree and the boulder had resulted in offspring set from the nearby "Hanging Scar" (100 yards South West - on a slightly higher level approx 20ft higher elevation).

Finally I thought it only right that I pay homage to our already established specimens which are still clinging to the sides of the fabulous rock itself, and just out of reach of stretching. We have about 50 fronds, spread over three sides of the rock. It was obvious that these ferns were surviving on this large boulder rock because of the moss patches which were clearly seen above the ferns, but in turn allowed for a slow release of moisture, obviously the same thing which must have been happening to the moss covered branches of the tree I found earlier.

An enchanting morning with some of the most beautiful ferns one is likely to see, and bringing our Hutton Roof "Cambricum" population count to 5 separate communities, with this area obviously being the most productive. 

And now to see the specimens, first the new ones on the actual boulder. (boulder photo shown in header)


Boulder near to Hanging Scar - Hutton Roof 

(9 photos)




















Tree within yards of boulder shown above

(9 photos)















Although you may occasionally see polypodies growing from a tree base,
you very rarely get chance to see "cambricum" growing from a tree although
it is seen close to the boulder (Population 5) on the Hutton Roof side.