Friday, January 13, 2023

The ferns at RSBG, another reason to visit!

Tucked within the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden is the fern stumpery. 

"The Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden (RSBG) features the world’s largest public stumpery, with ferns spilling over 140 stumps and logs in a magical half-acre across the path from the Pond Garden. This artistic arrangement of woody material is planted alongside an amazing collection of ferns and unique plants from around the world." (source)

Ginormous Woodwardia unigemmata with my hand for scale.

As a member of the Hardy Fern Foundation, I am able to visit the RSBG for free and take advantage of that benefit as often as possible, religiously visiting the stumpery (which dates back to 2009).


More Woodwardia unigemmata...

That "stich" pattern just sends me.

Blechnum spicant, aka Struthiopteris spicant, aka deer fern.

These images are from a late September visit and one in late July—both took place in 2022. 

Saxifraga stolonifera in bloom.

And with moss...

That foliage is pretty fabulous no matter the season.

More pyrrosia, this P. sheareri—the "king" of pyrrosia (in my mind).

More Blechnum penna-marina/Austroblechnum penna-marina.

This stump planting of Pyrrosia (sp?) always has me experiencing intense plant lust.

It's so lush...

The shape of the fronds is unlike any pyrrosia I have in my collection.

These stumps seemed new to me, on my summertime visit. The growth around them is quite established though, so I guess I just hadn't given them proper attention in the past.

I don't remember these nearby plantings either, an impatiens? 

I think this one is a gesneriad.

Since I am such a fan of pyrrosia I'm ending this post by highlighting a few more of the pyrrosia around the garden. This pot of P. sheareri in the conservatory.

That short wide form again, this time growing at the base of the column I shared yesterday.

Also in the conservatory, this form closely resembles one I bought there in 2021 labeled as Pyrrosia sp. SEH#12547 (SEH = Steve Hootman, Curator).

Finally a few pyrrosia plantings out in the garden, away from the stumpery and tucked in where I hope I can find them again!

All material © 2009-2023 by Loree L Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. I never get my fill of the RSBG, and the stumpery is heaven on earth, my most favored area in the garden. Thanks for the photos of Saxifraga stolonifera in the stump, reinforcing my commitment to incorporate it in my shade garden.
    "That "stich" pattern" is mind blowing!

    1. I wish I lived closer and I would be there at least once a month...

  2. Mouth watering fern pictures. Might the unknown plant be corydalis scouleri?

    1. I don't think so, it's not a great photo, but if you look closely you can see the plant the flowers are coming from is a small rosette.

  3. Oh my gosh. It's a good thing for me that you like ferns as much as you do agaves. Swooon! This is all pretty much perfection. Could your mystery fern be Microsorum? I saw one on the Little Prince website recently and thought it was fabulous - yours reminded me of it.

    1. Microsorum, hmm...maybe, I see the resemblance, but I am pretty sure the one I am lusting after is a pyrrosia—that said I could definitely be wrong!

  4. It looks as though you were in Pyrrosia heaven. I adore ferns but can only mourn their poor performance in my garden. There are a few here, which have remained small and seemingly struggle to hang on. The exception is the western sword fern, which I never planted. They're essentially welcome weeds.

  5. Definitely good reasons to visit! I'll have to remember when I'm out that way. :)

    1. You're gonna have a list a mile long Beth!

  6. Looks like a wonderful place to wander. The fern leaves flowing like water out of the stump--very cool!

  7. That wide leaf form of Pyrrosia is stunning. I wonder when my Woodwardia unigemmata will get that big? It's been years and it still puts out only one frond a year. Slooooooow.


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!