Mead Botanical Garden: Ancient Plants

This second post in the wild but beautiful Mead Gardens in Winter Park, Florida, just outside of Orlando, focuses on ancient plants. I am a fern-lover, for sure, especially Staghorns. The Mead has staghorns and ferns of many different kinds. These types of plansts, Polypodiales, do well in our humid climate and most avoid the heat of the direct sun by growing on the forest floor or on the trunks of trees under the shade of branches. Polypodiales date back to the Cretacious Period the end of the Mesozoic Era, about 100 million years ago.

A young Staghorn Fern
a type of fern with characteristic visible exterior seeds

Cycads, an even older tropical/subtropical plant family, have their own small section at Mead. Maybe I’ve seen too many movies, but I always think of dinosaurs when I see one of these. They date back as far as the earlier parts of Mesozoic Era (Triassic, Jurassic), as much as 250 million years.

Cue the dinosaurs.

I hope that you have enjoyed this short romp back in time.

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