A favorite of Governor Laffan, this fern lived in the Walsingham - Harrington Sound region of Bermuda. But it died out in the wild, the last plant being seen in 1905. Several potted specimens were brought to the Botanical Gardens, where they were housed in the Fern Room until 2001. The five plants remaining at that time were moved to the Tulo Vallery Nursery, where they have been getting lighter soil and better care. Unfortunately, the hurricane of 2003 destroyed the Tulo greenhouse, killing two of the plants and damaging the three remaining.
Here are photographs of the plant in the Fern Room in 1997,
and at Tulo in February 2003:
a fertile frond,
frond tip with veins,
emerging frond, and
a fiddlehead with scales.
Efforts are currently underway to propagate this fern in the U. S. Spores have been germinated, gametophytes grown, and sporophytes have been produced. In September 2004, a number of these juvenile plants were returned to Bermuda, to be reintroduced when they are sufficiently mature.
In 2009, Kimberly M. Burch at of the Plant Protection Laboratory of the D.E.P in Hamilton imported more of the plants from Marge Fromm, Director of Plant Conservation at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo. Several of these plants are doing quite well.
There may still be an old plant at Tulo or the Plant Protection Laboratory.
imported plant in 2013