Thelypteris kunthii

Common Name:  Southern Shield Fern, Widespread Maiden Fern

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Thelypteris kunthii habit.jpg (124361 bytes) Thelypteris kunthii frond.jpg (115551 bytes)
habit frond--the fronds are very large in this species

Thelypteris kunthii sori.jpg (111206 bytes)

Thelypteris kunthii fiddlehead.jpg (24004 bytes)
frond underside showing sori (the singular form is sorus)--each of these sori contains a group of sporangia (these produce the spores).  Sori are not always present on every frond, nor are they generally present at all times of the year. fiddlehead--this is how fronds start!  The whole frond is present in the fiddlehead...

Thelypteris kunthii fiddleheadunraveling.jpg (37181 bytes)

Thelypteris kunthii unraveling.jpg (27809 bytes)
...the fiddlehead simply needs to unravel and expand... form the fronds.  Each secondary set of "frondlets" has its own mini-fiddlehead!