Aug. 22, 2021

ebony spleenwort, Asplenium platyneuron

Ebony spleenwort has one of those really odd disconnected distributions. It seems most at home with us, but also pops up in South Africa and Slovakia. It was only discovered in the one spot in Slovakia in 2009. Ebony spleenwort is occasionally cultivated, mostly in rock gardens. Spleenworts were once believed to be useful for treating disordered spleens, but they fell into disuse in that regard long long ago. Its other role is to populate dry understories or to cover otherwise exposed sandy soil in slightly damp areas. Ebony spleenwort grows in AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, ON, and QC. Ives Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 10/4/13. Spleenwort family, Aspleniaceae.