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Hello Cavan,
great!! That explains an odd detail in the description of Colysis pteropus (= M. pteropus) in Bosman 1991 (A monograph of the fern genus Microsorum (Polypodiaceae)): "...lobes 1 (or 2) to one side (or 1-5 in very small fronds);..."

I was already sure that the 'Trident' belongs to M. pteropus. E.g. the persistent scales on the leaf midrib and the development of plantlets on the leaf tip and leaf undersurface are in line with M. pteropus.
 

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Hello lampeye,
I've written about this topic here:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...losest-relatives-m-pteropus-does-anybody.html
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...cussions/62324-microsorum-species-clones.html
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...7-java-fern-reverse-tropica-split-narrow.html

The type specimen of M. brassii from New Guinea looks similar to e.g. M. pteropus 'Narrow leaf' (more than to 'Needle leaf' or 'Taiwan'):
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/i...wseimgs_plant_sci&enlarge=3333+3333+1007+0912
According to the last revisions of "Microsoroid ferns" (Bosman 1991, Nooteboom 1997) M. brassii is one of many synonyms of M. pteropus.
There are further synonyms of M. pteropus, also based on rather small plants with simple (not lobed) leaves, e.g. M. pteropus var. minor or M. zosteriforme.

Heavy scaling on the leaf midrib:
There is a number of M. pteropus forms in the botanical garden Göttingen, most from Claus Christensen. The scaling on the midrib (underside) and on the petiole is very variable, there are smaller as well as larger forms with more or less dense scaling. There is e.g. a medium-sized form from Khao Yai (Thailand) with more conspicuous, larger midrib scales than in 'Needle Leaf'/'Taiwan'. (I don't have the description of M. brassii and don't know how heavy the scaling of the type specimen is. EDIT: The enlarged pics of the specimen show rather sparse scaling, but that might be also an artifact).

I've read in the part of "Flora malesiana" about the Microsoroid ferns that there are small rheophytic forms of M. pteropus, distinguishable from similar species by the densely set scales on the midrib. (No particular scientific names / synonyms of these forms are mentioned there).

Similar to M. pteropus are Microsorum insigne and Leptochilus (Colysis) species. The mature leaf midribs of them are rather smooth or have few inconspicuous scales (early shed).

Bosman (1991) moved M. pteropus into Colysis, but that was not accepted by Nooteboom (1997) who moved this species back into Microsorum. According to Nooteboom Colysis is a synonym of Leptochilus. Both authors didn't use molecular data.

Evidence from cladistic analyses based on molecular data sheds new light on the ideas of Bosman: Microsorum pteropus as closest relative of the Leptochilus / Colysis group.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...serid=10&md5=b69a36163e4b4c9c1107aae0abb66d91
 

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Anybody ever try growing any of these from spore?
I've tried it, with several different java fern forms - unsuccessfully :( Surely I made something wrong, spores too old or so. At the same time and under same conditions I sewed spores of some other terrestrial/epiphytic Microsoroid ferns (Lecanopteris spp., Microsorum musifolium etc.), and the most of them germinated easily.

Reading your post, I would like to ask - do any of your needle-leaf clones have the scaly rachis I was mentioning? Mine does, regardless of growing conditions and it is SIGNIFICANTLY different from any Java ferns I've seen or grown. I expected it would be there on "trident," but when I finally got some...there it WASN'T. I was assuming "trident" was most closely related to needle-leaf, but I guess not, now that I see them together.
Yes, here are 2 'needle-leaf'-like clones:
#1: also known as 'Taiwan', leaves submerged about 1 cm wide, emersed up to 2 cm wide.
#2: also called 'Mini', leaves not broader than 5 mm, 10-30 cm long, grows slowly and doesn't well emersed. (I wonder which clone is the "true needle leaf", gotten this name first, and who used the name 'needle leaf' first.)
And both have midribs with these densely set, dark brown, rather appressed scales. I'll take midrib pictures from other java ferns for comparison.
Here the #2:


(squares 5x5 mm)

I don't have 'Trident' a long time, at least the younger leaves have rather densely set scales on the midrib (and the lateral veins), see below (emersed plant). Maybe more sparsely on older ones.



 

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I'm going try sowing some this week. I'm using the wet terra-cotta method. I'll let everyone know how it works out.
OK, perhaps You'll have more luck than me! Spores as young as possible are surely best. And - now I see I've written "sewed"... to sow the spores is certainly more effective :rolleyes: :biggrin:

Interesting shot of the "trident" - mine don't show much in the way of scales but then they are young plantlets.
The scales are often more or less hairy and more obvious if they have many dark hairs. This may vary within the same clone.

Since we're uncertain of the identity, perhaps we shouldn't call anything "needle-leaf" in quotes, as that is the protocol for cultivar names, and if we don't know which is which...

Maybe we should just use needle-leaf (or needle-leaved?) as a plain ol' adjective :D
Yes, or perhaps we can speak about a "needle leaf group". I don't even exclude that there are more clones with the "needle leaf" habit than these both. I'm sure at least these 2 are really different, because they developed different over a longer period under same conditions in my tank and in emersed culture. The 'Taiwan' form seems to be a more (the most?) frequent needle-leaved form in the aquarium hobby, due to its relatively fast propagation rate.
 

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Hello Dave,
Oh, and Miremonster -
What do you recommend for best results when growing J-ferns emersed? Pot culture with soil, or a soilless mix? Or is it best to simply attach the rhizome to a porous surface just as when one grows them submersed while keeping the feet wet?
what I already wrote You in the PM, here for the others:
From my experiences in the botanical garden Göttingen (where I'm working voluntarily in my free time) I can say: the substrate doesn't matter for Java fern as long as the nutrient supply is o.k. (seemingly the most important factor) and the air is quite humid.
They grow equally good here in:
- moist, but drained and coarse soil in a shaded bottom bed in the fern house
- on porose lava stone at an artificial water fall in the fern house
- in a glass case in a greenhouse: plastic trays with water, the java fern rhizoms simply without substrate in plastic pots (already climbing out of the pots..) or on pieces of filter sponge in the pots. From time to time refilled with water and some liquid fertilizer (I don't know the exact concentrations, the gardeners do it). (Also pots with loamy soil (with other plants) stand in the trays, so nutrients may leach into the water)
Once one of the java ferns thrived on a piece of rotten driftwood laying in the water in the tray.

In water plant nurseries I've seen java fern growing on rock wool on flooded tables with fertilizer solution (hydroponic) like the other emersed aquarium plants.

M. pteropus as terrestrial plant is apparently one of the easiest plants for humid tropical conditions.
I can't say which culture method is the best.

One exception: the form that I call the "true Needle leaf" (submersed leaves not broader than 5 mm) didn't grow well emersed in the plastic trays. Either it requires special conditions (soft water? lower pH?) or it is more adapted to submerged growth than to emersed. I'm very curious where this form was collected and how it grew in the natural location, till now I didn't find informations.
 

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Dave,
there are masses of Java fern with sori in the fern house, but till now I didn't find there gametophytes from which I can say that they are from M. pteropus! (gametophytes of several weedy ferns germinate all over the fern house) Once I read a description of gametophytes of M. pteropus and Leptochilus spp., according to that they are strap-shaped and long-living. Other Microsorum species and relatives (Lecanopteris etc.) have "normal" heart-shaped, rather short-living gametophytes.
2 exceptions: -gametophyte-like things on submerged leaves of my "true needle leaf", -the same on the roots(?) of submerged 'Windelov' in a tank of Hans-Georg Kramer (Wedel near Hamburg). Developed vegetatively, not from spores?
 

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Here's a very interesting paper as pdf file: Kato, M., D. Darnaedi, and K. Iwatsuki. 1991. Fern Rheophytes of Borneo.
http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...xQodQG&sig=AHIEtbQa7V_88UMFXyQMFGmrZfgMgFA4Ow

On page 50, under No. 37: Microsorum paucijugum. The description ("... Lamina deeply lobed to wings up to 5 mm broad; lateral lobes 3-4 pairs, conform to terminal lobe, ...") may be in line with the W. M. A. Brooke specimen from Nanga Mujong and with "Trident".
They write about M. paucijugum: "This species may be considered a hydrophytic rheophyte. ... This species is closely related to the following, M. pteropus, which is also a rheophyte. From morphology, distribution, and ecology, it is suggested that this species was derived from M. pteropus."
According to tropicos.org it was described as Polypodium paucijugum by Alderwerelt 1908 and was moved to Microsorum by Iwatsuki & Kato 1981.
However, M. paucijugum is listed as a synonym of Microsorum pteropus by H.P. Nooteboom (1997, The microsoroid ferns).
The type specimen of M. paucijugum (Teuscher s.n.) is in the herbarium of Bogor (Indonesia, Java). It would be interesting comparing it with the Brooke specimen and our cultivated "Trident" Java Fern.
 
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