The fern has always been considered a mysterious and mysterious plant. He was looked for and feared, considered a damned flower and a wish-fulfilling ... Perhaps such an ambiguous attitude is related to its appearance: either the branches or the leaves are located around the central part of the rosette - either the stem or the root ... semi-dark, in the most often wild forests. It also adds a lot of mystery. In a word - a very incomprehensible plant!
Superstitions and Legends
In the legends and beliefs of the Slavs, the shortest night of the year, on Ivan Kupala, is the time when the fern blossoms. At midnight, it blooms for a few moments with a magical, fiery red flower. It was believed that those who at this time will find a flower will be able to find the treasure and become rich ... However, the flower itself is so bright that it is impossible to look at it. In addition, a man almost never manages to wreck him because of the abundance of evil, circling around and in every way interfering. Tearing a flower, you need to run out of the forest at full speed, not looking back, otherwise the evil will destroy.
In the story N.Gogol's “The Night Before Ivan Kupala” describes not only the time when a fern blossoms, but also his flower, which grows out of a small bud in a few minutes and burns with a bright light. The hero of the story, using special plots, plucks a flower, and he, flying through the air, indicates the place of a fairy tale.
Fern in Russia called the break-grass. According to legend, this plant could open any doors, unlock any chests and break all locks, even metal ones.
Of course, believing in legends or not is everyone’s business. Traditions are explored by many scientists who see in them both the attempt of man to understand nature, and the remnants of pagan rituals, and simply mystical stories that people loved to tell each other at night.
Scientists believe that the "fiery color" of a fern is nothing more than forest fireflies sitting in the thickets of summer nights. And the summer solstice (the night of June 23-24) was an ancient Slavic holiday of Kupala, when young people walked through the forest, jumped over bonfires, and the girls wove wreaths, suggesting what was intended. With the spread of Christianity, the summer solstice became the day of St. John (Ivan).
When does the fern bloom?
But why did nobody see the fern bloom? The fact is that the fern is a very ancient plant. Some species of ferns are the same age as dinosaurs, 400 million years old! What we usually take to be branches and leaves are not really leaves or stems. Their correct name is frond. Frond in Greek means "palm branch." Indeed, thin feathery fronds are very similar to the small leaves of palm trees. Young fronds are twisted like snails, they straighten with age.
And ferns multiply not by flowers, but by spores. On the bottom of each vayi there are special vaults for disputes. From the dispute, small plates first appear. Botanists call them "outgrowths", and already new ferns grow out of the outgrowths.
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