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Christmas Fern

Frozen in Time

Mounted, dried and carefully catalogued, this specimen of Polylstichum "Christmas Fern" from British Columbia is laden with reproductive spores. You see them on the underside of the leaves at left.  This is one of more than 800,000 mounted plant specimens in the Duke Herbarium,  a working collection of vascular plants, mosses, algae, fungi and lichens from all over the world. Though the plants are dead, the collection is a living resource for researchers who have published hundreds of papers from it over the last decade. View a slideshow of just a few of the plants in the collection.