Fern of exaltation

DAY 108 (22 JULY) – Sword fern (Nephrolepsis exaltata) (Vejer, Spain)

On a whitewashed wall in the church square hangs a hand-painted pot with a sword fern. Above it are two plaques. One explains that to celebrate the year 2000 AD, the local ‘fraternity of penitents’ decided to put up markers for the Stations of the Cross, which the penitents follow on the Monday of every Easter Week. The other indicates the first Station. So the Latin name nephrolepsis exaltata sounds oddly apt.

I hadn’t the realised the sword fern was native to the tropics before. In this baking hot and dry square it is clearly being tended by a dedicated carer.

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