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Stems of Hair

The maidenhair fern takes its common name partly from the way its black stems look after the foliage has been taken by the cold. Mounds of dark ‘hair’ are all that’s left in its winter places, signifying a fallen heroine, but also the promise of beauty to come. Despite their delicate appearance, these ferns are hardy even in the cruel environs of upstate New York.

This specimen was growing in a greenhouse, so it probably does deserve a delicate reputation. I’ve never grown these indoors, and I’m hesitant to do so because the air is so dry at this time of the year. I may chance putting one in a terrarium of sorts if I can find a unique and pretty one, but part of me doesn’t want to risk it. I’d feel terrible if I ended up ruining one of these gorgeous plants.

For now, I’ll keep it in the garden room of my imagination.

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