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The plant was purchased from the Government Plant Nursery in Bryant Park, Kodaikanal town, in Tamil Nadu, India about 1 to 2 years ago. Since the Tamil language is very different and the in-charge gardener did not speak English, I asked for a tree fern via sign language pointing to the cyathea next to me which is endemic to the region. I bought this plant as a sapling then, at which stage I could not tell much. After confirming again with pointing to the real cyathea next to us, I bought it and brought it back to Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. It's grown since then and it's spreading in the base of the pot. So I'm sure it's not a cyathea/tree fern. But it's unlike anything here in Mumbai. What specific type of fern is it?

Note:The fronds are max 1 to 1.5 feet long. The cut frond in the photo is something a bird broke off. I don't like cutting it's beautiful green foliage :)

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  • I have a question for you out of interest. Do Indians have a sign language to use when you need to communicate with other Indians who speak a different language? If so, that's fascinating. – Escoce Jun 23 '16 at 13:22
  • lol...pointing to things you want, making gestures with your hands to indicate various things like money, water....its a global sign language I would use for any one across the world...worked for me in Spain as well :P – spinge Jun 23 '16 at 17:46
  • Oh ok, I thought there was more to it than that. I know India is a big country and there is a lot of language diversity there. – Escoce Jun 23 '16 at 19:29
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It looks quite similar to the Marginal Wood Fern, Dryopteris marginalis - especially when looking at the prominence and linear distribution of the sori on the edges of the leaves. All of the sources I looked at show only a North American distribution. (Sorry, I am too new to G&L to include more than one link in this post. My second source was: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dryopteris_marginalis)

Could it be a relative? Or has the world really become that small botanically?

[NewEnglandWild.org]

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  • I was thinking the same, but the arrangement of sori, telltale fern ID method, is different. Remember, this fern is not in the Americas (although it could have been imported). – Brenn Jan 17 '17 at 4:18

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