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This species has also been posted herein as a Solanopteris but I will follow my name choice for consistency.  Certainly, if searching the Internet for pertinent information, it is essential to use both generic names.

Microgramma brunei (Wercklé ex H. Christensen) David Bruce Lellinger published in the American Fern Journal 67(2) 1977. Basionym Polypodium brunei Karl (Carl) Wercklé Ex Konrad Hermann Christensen published in Bulletin De La Société Botanique De Genève, Sér. 2 1(5), 1909.  Synonym Solanopteris brunei (Wercklé Ex H. Christ.) Warren Herbert Wagner published in American Fern Journal 62, 1972.

  Ecology:  I Quote “The Potato-Ferns, Genus Solanopteris (sic), are associated with ants; in Costa Rica with Azteca species.  The ant associated with S. brunei (sic) has been identified as Azteca traili var. filicis Forel, which has not previously been reported from Costa Rica, but is known from Peru.” “The presence of a South American insect at the northernmost range of Solanopteris implies that the ferns & ants have co-evolved not only biologically, but also geographically.” (Gomez 1977.)

  Range:  Central America (Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama) South America, (Colombia and Ecuador) and from the Gomez report above probably in Peru.

  Records:  Costa Rica, Type Collection 1904 near Araya, Cartago Province, La Selva De Pejibaye.  La Selva De translates as “The Forest Of” and Pejibaye are large, tall, thorny, edible-fruit-bearing palm trees called Peach Palms locally.  This may mean that this species can occupy agricultural forests, as do so many other ant-house epiphytes.  The fern expert Robbin Moran (2002) records a specimen at Alajuela on an isolated tree in pasture near Alberto Brenes Biological Station (Estacion Biologica Alberto Brenes), north of San Ramon at 900 m (2953 ft.)  In 2004, he records another site at Alajuela but higher at 1,000 m. (3281 ft.) Annual rainfall at the station is 3500 mm (138 inches.) and although there is a summer/autumn dry season from Jan to May, it is rainy (but often only light-drizzles) almost all year long. Note: Moran uses the name Microgramma.

   Ecuador:  Esmeraldas Province; at 740 m (2428 ft.), grid reference 00°53'31"N. 78°31'41"W. which places the collection site inland, fractionally north of the equator and in the middle of jungle wilderness north of the Esmeraldas River.  This is especially interesting being a very rare record from the Pacific side of the high Andes.  Regions facing the Pacific Ocean must cope with the drought to flood vagaries of El Nino/La Nina, weather patterns.  Perhaps some Microgramma do have to cope with the similar dry spells experienced by many southern Asian arboreal ant-house species.

  The University Of Connecticut (UCONN) grows M. brunei.  They recommend plants be grown in hanging baskets in fern mix.  To facilitate propagation, allow rhizomes to establish in a new basket before division.  Propagations do not survive well if rhizomes are detached too early.

 These plants are not native to the sovereign nation of Brunei on Borneo Island.


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