"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Friday, May 30, 2008

2 springtime ferns whose identification is easy peasy

The Aspleniaceae are a worldwide , single genus family of ferns with over 700 known species. Due to the distinctive shape of the sorae or "seed" capsules on the underside of the "leaves" (more correctly pinnae in ferns) they have long been considered to be specific by the doctrine of signatures to be beneficial for splenetic disorders - there is no evidence to support thisbelief. Here are two easily recognised species to find and identify as you take up country walks. (Do NOT pick wildflowers).

Many people get confused identifying ferns but the 2 species shown here and photographed today are very widespread and fairly common throughout Eastern North America and Europe and easily identified.

Damp shaded walls will often be showing seedlings in mortar cracks, which will not have grown seed cases yet.

A.ruta muraria L. ( a very rare case of a double worded specific name) or Wall Rue, refers to the similarity of the leaves to the herbal plant , Rue , which is actually related to the Buttercups. Wall Rue has historically been used as a specific for scrofula - a form of tuberculosis characterized by festering abscesses and swelling of the lymph glands in the neck. Almost unknown for decades it has returned as problem for AIDS patients with severely challenged immune systems.

The bright yellow green Maidenhair Spleenwort with darak brown almost black leaf stalks is also known by other common names including Asplénium rue-de-muraille (Fr.) , Seinäraunioinen (Fin.), Zanokcica murowa (Pol.) ,Ruda de muros (Sp.) Mauer-Streifenfarn (Ger.), Murruta (Sw.) Murruda (Den.)

Common names for A. trichomanes L. include Doradille Chevelue (Qué), Svartbräken, Bergspring, Stenbräken, Vanlig Svartbräken (Swe), Svartburkne (Nor), Rundfinnet Radeløv (Dan), Tummaraunioinen (Fin), Brauner Streifenfarn (Ger), Aranyos Fodorka (Hun) which relate to the belief that, because they grow in cracks in rocks and walls, thei roots penetrate and break the stone.

Maidenhair refers to the tufts of curled, black, dried leafless stalks left in the winter.

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