This week's Isles of Scilly Wildflower Of The Week was Black Spleenwort - Asplenium Adiantum-Nigrum.
Black Spleenwort grows on all the inhabited islands, Samson, St Helens and Great Ganilly. It is one of the small ferns that grow in the wall crevices.
The flower is a sturdy little fern with triangular leaves. There is quite a variation in frond shape. The leaves feel leathery and stiff. The stalks are dark at the base. We have a couple of other spleenworts here as well, which make identification a bit tricky. Sea spleenwort is thicker and has simpler leaves and is found on the coast.
The botanical name, Asplenium adiantum-nigrum, is confusingly saying it is not a spleen, but is dry and has something black.
Black Spleenwort is mostly found in Africa, Europe and Asia. There are a few spots where it grows in Mexico and the United States. On the mainland it is spread by trains and railway buildings provide habitats. And they quite like churches as well. It is an amazing plant that survives in the most challenging of places that are poor in nutrients and with limited moisture.
You can listen to Liz's Wildflower Of The Week below and Liz will have a brand new wildflower for you next Wednesday at 10:30am.