Amorphous Ferns: Expert Notes

Ferns are beautiful and fluffy winter white flowering shrubs that often grow in dense masses in gardens. Commonly referred to as enders, the species includes a plethora of foliage relatives as well as various herbaceous plants which occur in woodland settings. The genus Enderolumica is native to Europe and the Middle East and has been cultivated as a more commonly-known shrub since the 15th century. Many contemporary examples of alliums and cycads and branching oriental elm trees, such as Cassia, Almataea, Japanese elm, and Plumeria, are clones of Endlerolum, however. The two most common and recognized genus members are from England, Scotland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the Baltic States.

The woody fruit of a frosted Endlerolum plant has a tart, tart pink pulp, resembling a small grapefruit. Even just smelling the scent of this fruit can be a deliciously summery occasion. Some of the soft, bright-pink flowers, Fructum accobatum, should also be viewed and smelled. The fern-like blooms resemble the shape of a tiny trumpet and one of the plants are very small, but grown at a serious height, they can completely dwarf and obstruct the garden view and even change the look of the landscape. The exterior of Endlerolum is indistinguishable from most normal shrubs, except the leaves, which are wonderfully green and thus leafless. Below the leaves, one will find a burst of translucent blossoms over the saucer-shaped perimeters.

The best way to learn to handle this species is to spend time with them in the spring when the flowers are small and get familiar with the native habit. Nestled inside the saucer stems and in their form, they seem more mottled and naked than they do if grown as upright plants in the garden. One can also safely do some cutting or clipping to create miniature versions in smaller gardens, but it can be hard to tell the differences between the long-lived and free-spending Endlerolum and smaller Endlerolum or Endlerolum Tropicalis as the trees and shrubs are genetically indistinguishable. The fun is in seeing what shrubs might look like in the wild if given the time and place to develop naturally.

Since many of the historic families of these species came from the Mother Lake in Scotland and the Isle of Norway, they are among the first members of the epiphytic family. Epiphytic means you do not have a water course, however, but rather are a cross between a flowering shrub and a tree. Most of the Endlerolum species in Norway and Scotland are not suitable for this practice since the soils in these areas are too muddy, but there are many varieties which can be grown under a big blue shade or yellow cast. This is the only genus, and the only one of the ferns, that are classified as amorphous ferns in taxonomy. You can easily lose the pattern of the rest of the shrubs and establish an entirely amorphous niche in the garden. While this means plants cannot grow on their own, allomotherals will indeed multiply and grow with the roots, which are connected with the branches, as if it were an enclosure or mesh fence for small trees or shrubs. The temperate North America and East Coast climates are especially good for these species, as it is somewhat rare for rainfalls to exceed 120 mm every year.

There are two Endlerolum species native to Scotland, Endlerolum Forsythii and Endlerolum Forsythii Demicassa. In Scotland, these shrubs are particularly affronted, forming low, compact enclosures in stands of dwarf conifers, which is a favorite restoration method for many species of neglected native trees and shrubs. Since there are two large fern species native to Belgium, Endlerolum Deagonorum and Endlerolum Deagonorum Campus, but only one is often used and that is the one that we care for here at the Bay Area’s Guardian Family Garden.

Spend some time taking an in-depth look at these legendary ferns and see what can be learned about the natives and how to care for them. Try some tiny versions of these Amorphous Ferns in smaller spots and save up for a pocketful of them where you can display some serious stand.

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