American Fern Society

AFS Site Navigation

AFS Home
AFS Fern Journal
AFS Speakers List
Contact Page
Fern Basics
Fiddlehead Forum Archive
Offsite Links
Growing Ferns
Spore Exchange
Student Listserv

Growing Psilotum

Psilotum Nudum Grown in Axenic culture

By Dean Whittier edited for the internent by Bubba Baxter

Growing Technique #1

The spores should be as fresh as possible and surface sterilized with 20% Clorox. The surface-sterilized spores should be sown on 15ml of nutrient medium in culture tubes having a diameter of 20mm and screw caps which are tightened to reduce moisture loss. They should be kept in normal light conditions for 6 months. The cultures should then be moved to total darkness for 6-12 months. This should result in a high percentage of germination.

Nutrient Medium; The nutrient medium contained a modified Knudson's solution. A liter of medium contained 250mg NH4Cl ; 250mg Na2SO4; 125mg MgSO4; 7H2O; 235 mg CaCl2and 125 mg K2HPO4 plus FeEDTA and minor elements. The medium was solidified with 0.7% agar and contained 0.5% sucrose. The medium was adjusted to pH 6.1 prior to autoclaving.

Growing Technique #2

Some people have had luck by mixing the spores into the soil of a potted Hoya or Diffenbachia or other large house plant theat will not be repotted for several years. If everything is right gametophytes occasionally develop after 2-3 years.