Oak Leaf Holly Information: Learn How To Grow An Oak Leaf Holly Plant.
The Oak Leaf Horseshoe Fern (Fernaca oleifera) is a small evergreen shrub or small tree with very large leaves which are often covered with tiny white hairs. They grow from 3 to 12 inches tall and have slender stems that end in sharp spines.
Leaves are opposite, oblong, serrate at the tip and 1/2 inch wide. Leaves are arranged in two rows and alternate along the stem.
They are native to Europe and Asia but they have been introduced into North America where they are common in parks, gardens, lawns and other open areas. They prefer moist soil with occasional moisture seeping through the bark during dry periods.
The oakleafhorseshoe fern is a member of the horseshoe family (Asteraceae). It belongs to the genus Ficus.
There are several species of horseshoe ferns, all of which belong to the same genera, Ficus and Helianthus. The most commonly grown is the American horseshoe fern (Helianthus annuus), which grows in both fresh and dried form.
Horseshoe Ferns have long been used medicinally in many parts of the world including China, Japan, Korea and India. Other fern families such as the bracken family (Pteridaceae) and the wood fern family (Dryopteridaceae) also contain species with medicinal value.
The “Ficus” word in the name of this plant refers to the fig genus of plants, several of which are grown for their edible fruits including the common grocery store types such as the common fig, the Bunch Fig and the San Gabriel. The common fig is actually a species of mulberry and not a true fig at all.
In some parts of the world, the leaves of this fern have been used to treat headaches, fevers and tuberculosis. There is no scientific evidence that these treatments are effective or safe.
In the United States, ferns have been used primarily as ornamental plants. The Oak leaf fern is a bit more unusual than most in that it is evergreen.
Most ferns are either deciduous or they have leaves that look like they are wrapped up all winter long.
Ferns do not have flowers as we know them. They reproduce by means of spores which contain both male and female reproductive cells.
The male reproductive cell is attached to the female reproductive cell within a capsule called a sporangium. When ripe, the sporangium bursts and sends these cells away on wind or water to find each other and form a little spore baby fern plantlet.
Ferns reproduce slowly and do not produce many baby plants however they can survive from cutting and will grow from spores if conditions are right. They do not need to be fertilized in order to grow.
Ferns are classified as vascular plants and first appeared during the prehistoric age of the dinosaurs. It is believed that ferns are at least as old as the age of coal.
The oldest fossil ferns date from around 350 million years ago, in fact the fossil was found in the same mine where the famous fossilised fish known as the Coelacanth was discovered.
Sources & references used in this article:
Host-plant selection in the holly leaf-miner: does mother know best? by G Valladares, JH Lawton – The Journal of Animal Ecology, 1991 – JSTOR
Decomposition of oak leaf litter is related to initial litter Mn concentrations by MP Davey, B Berg, BA Emmett, P Rowland – Botany, 2007 – NRC Research Press
Influences of woody encroachment and restoration thinning on overstory savanna oak tree growth rates by LA Brudvig, HM Blunck, H Asbjornsen… – Forest ecology and …, 2011 – Elsevier
A test of the hydraulic limitation hypothesis in fast‐growing Eucalyptus saligna by HR Barnard, MG Ryan – Plant, Cell & Environment, 2003 – Wiley Online Library
Is it who you know, or how many that counts? Criminal networks and cost avoidance in a sample of young offenders by M Bouchard, H Nguyen – Justice Quarterly, 2010 – Taylor & Francis
KBase: the United States department of energy systems biology knowledgebase by AP Arkin, RW Cottingham, CS Henry, NL Harris… – Nature …, 2018 – nature.com