Selaginella uncinata Peacock fern

Selaginella Blue Green

Subevergreen to evergreen, prostrate. Zones 6 to 10. description Creeping and branching stems create extended mats of stubby overlapping segments of iridescent electric-blue to blue-green foliage. The plant roots easily as it travels about. range and habitat Although native to China, this species has escaped in the southeastern tier of the united states. it needs moist shade. culture and comments While it is generally recommended for Zone 6 and up, peacock fern can...

Cyrtomium caryotideum

Epithet means nutlike, from Greek caryo or caryota, referring to the leaves which are similar to those on nut trees. Evergreen, 2 ft. (60 cm).Zones 7 to 10. Apogamous. description The rhizome is erect. Straw-colored stipes with dark basal scales are one-third to one-half of the frond length. Oblong, once-pinnate blades bear three to six pairs of pale green pinnae and a large terminal pinna. Slightly stalked 2-in. (5-cm) long triangular pinnae are auricled frequently on both sides of their base...

Polypodium formosanum Caterpillar fern

Wintergreen, 18 to 24 in. (45 to 60 cm).Zones 9 and 10. description The striking creeping rhizome, crisscrossing itself freely in a tangle, is thick and a chalky pale green. It has small black scales as well as minute black craters (technically known as phyllopodia) that are the scarred stumps left after the fronds are shed. The chocolate-colored stipes are one-half Yellow sori add interest to the fertile frond of Polypodium cambricum 'Semilacerum Falcatum O'Kelly,...

Adiantum poiretii Mexican maidenhair

Epithet is after French naturalist Jean Poiret (1755-1834). Deciduous, 8 to 24 in. (20 to 60 cm). Zones 8 and 9. description The rhizome is short- to long-creeping. Deep cranberry-black, smooth stipes are one-fourth to one-half of the frond length. Oval to narrowly triangular blades are bi-pinnate to tripinnate and carry the stipe color into the base of the stalked, softly scalloped pinnules. Marginal sori are oblong beneath the false indusia and infused with an unusual (for the genus) yellow...

Dryopteris sublacera

Epithet means almost torn into fringelike segments. Evergreen, 1 to 2 ft. (30 to 60 cm).Zones (5) 6 to 8.Apogamous. description The erect rhizome supports leathery fronds that are one-fourth grooved stipe with deciduous russet scales. The thick-textured blade is ovate-lanceolate and bipinnate with about 20 pairs of subdued milky green pinnae, which aim their tips towards the frond's apex. The sori are medial and covered with kidney-shaped indusia. range and habitat This species is native to...

Blechnum wattsii

Epithet is after William Watts (1856-1920),a collector in Australia. Evergreen, 2 to 3 ft. (60 to 90 cm). Zones 8 (with caution and serious protection) and 9, or greenhouse. Dimorphic. description The rhizome is creeping, producing numerous closely spaced upright fronds. Buff-colored, grooved stipes, with shiny dark brown scales at the base, are up to one-half of the frond length. Narrow, lanceolate blades are once-pinnate with 10 to 15 pairs of slightly stalked pinnae and a long terminal apex....

Shorter Notes

Cyathea australis (of the south), the rough tree fern, synonym Alsophila australis, by virtue of its relative cold and slight frost tolerance, is one of the more practical tree ferns for probable success in u.S. gardens. In nature the trunk can reach 35 ft. (10.5 m) and supports bipinnate to tripinnate fronds of up to 15 ft. (4.5 m). New growth and old stipe bases are covered with spines. As this species shares habitats with the Cyathea smithii and the rata tree (Metrosideros, which is...

Asplenium incisum

Evergreen, 6 to 12 in. (15 to 30 cm).Zones 6 to 9. description The rhizome is erect. Stipes of one-fourth the frond length are green and slightly grooved. Narrowly lanceolate blades are once-pinnate or more commonly bipinnate with 10 to 20 pairs of pinnae. They are widest in the The forked form of Asplenium foreziense in the Baggett garden. Photo by Jim Baggett. The forked form of Asplenium foreziense in the Baggett garden. Photo by Jim Baggett. The alpine Asplenium foreziense serves nobly in...

Selaginella kraussiana

Epithet is after Christian Krauss (1812-1890), the German naturalist who collected the type plant in Africa. subevergreen to evergreen, creeping. Zones 7 to 10. description Long-creeping, prostrate, branching stems are bright green with sprays of lighter green fanlike foliage leading the forward edges outward. The main stems and branches are trimmed with small foliar spikes of two different sizes. Translucent roots are promptly produced under the entire expanding carpet. range and habitat...

Cyrtomium hookerianum Hookers holly fern

Hooker (1785-1865) or Sir Joseph D. Hooker (1817-1911), both of whom served as directors of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Evergreen, 2 ft. (60 cm). Zones 6 (with protection) to 10. description The rhizome is erect. Pea-green stipes with a smattering of brownish scales are half the length of the frond. Broadly lanceolate, once-pinnate blades have up to 15 pairs of Broad foliage on Cyrtomium hookerianum. Broad foliage on Cyrtomium hookerianum. pointed oblong...

Dryopteris Hybrids

With the plentiful worldwide distribution of temperate dry-opteris comes a cornucopia of hybrids. By nature (and chromosomes) most are sterile. Some of the fertile and even fewer of the sterile hybrids will be found in the main text. Most are rare but the following are among the best known. From eastern North America (Mickel 1979, Montgomery 1982,1992) come Dryopteris celsax D. cristata, D. clintoniana x D. cristata, D. xdowellii (D. clintonianax D. intermedia), D. xleedsii (D. celsa x D....

Growing Ferns Indoors

Can Ostrich Ferns Grow Indoors

As with garden ferns, the three major areas of concern when growing ferns indoors are soil, light, and water. In addition, attention to temperature is more critical and must be determined by the preferences of the individual species or cultivars. Sacks of fern-specific soil, usually containing various combinations of peat, sterilized compost, and perhaps sand, pumice, and or perlite, are easily purchased from most garden centers and are in general ready to use. I find many somewhat heavy,...

Maidenhair ferns

The maidenhairs are popular and beautifully irresistible, delicate-appearing plants that evoke the traditional image of fern in the mind's eye of the gardening public. The maidenhair fern . . . is one of the few species with which those who make no pretense to botanical knowledge are usually acquainted (Clute 1901). There are some 150 to 200 species scattered over the world's various fern habitats with a rich assortment of natives populating favored sites in the American tropics. Given their...

Botrychium

Botrychiums (Greek botrys, cluster) are commonly called grape ferns because of the clustered arrangement of their rounded sporangia. These ferns are avidly pursued, but not collected, in the wild by aficionados who enjoy the find. I have joined with fellow travelers to search along several miles of trail and rejoice in spotting a patch of a dozen or so 4-in. (10-cm) high fronds. (Grazing deer have been known to annually eat the reward.) Part of the challenge is the structure of the fern itself...

Blechnum discolor Crown fern

Epithet means of two different colors. Evergreen, IV2 to 3 ft. (45 to 90 cm).Zones 8 (with protection) description The rhizome is erect, rather quickly forming a trunk of 6 to 12 in. (15 to 30 cm). The once-pinnate sterile fronds are elliptic with 30 to 40 pairs of sessile pinnae with prominent veins. They taper strongly at the base above short stipes that are about one-sixth of the frond length. The blades are a bright green with whitish undersides, an attractive duet. Fountains of fertile...

Dryopteris erythrosora Autumn fern

Zones (5) 6 to 9.Apogamous. description The rhizome is short-creeping and produces Dryopteris dilatata 'Lepidota Cristata' Dryopteris dilatata 'Lepidota Cristata' a bountiful spring crop of remarkable red-stemmed and red-foliaged fronds. The frond is one-half stipe with an equal portion of broad, shiny, bipinnate, triangular blades with upwards of 10 pairs of pinnae. In time they fade from their coppery-red spring glory to a most acceptable glossy summer...

Pteris vittata Ladder brake

Epithet means longitudinally striped. Evergreen to deciduous, 1 to 3 ft. (30 to 90 cm). Zones 9 and Pteris vittata and Adiantum capillus-veneris at home on the walls of the Castillo de San Marcos in Saint Augustine, Florida. Pteris vittata and Adiantum capillus-veneris at home on the walls of the Castillo de San Marcos in Saint Augustine, Florida. description The rhizome is compact. Heavily scaled stipes are greenish brown and one-sixth to one-fifth of the frond length. Once-pinnate blades are...

Dicksonia fibrosa Woolly tree fern

Evergreen, 18 ft. (5.4 m). Zones 9 and 10. description The fibrous, rusty colored trunk grows to 18 ft. (5.4 m). Erect fountains of tripinnate to quadripinnate narrow fronds with short stipes are mass produced and reach a length of 8 or 9 ft. (2.4 to 2.7 m). The species is readily recognized in the wild by the skirts of old fronds that droop and drape the trunk with blankets of cold-protective, dead fronds that even in their final stages still serve a...

Polypodium glycyrrhiza

Wintergreen (summer dormant), 1 to 2 ft. (30 to 60 cm). Zones 5 to 8. description The rhizome is long-creeping with a pseudo-licorice flavor. Stipes are tan, often maturing to a greenish brown, and one-third of the frond length. Blades are lanceolate and pinnatifid with 10 to 20 or more pairs of pointed linear, dull green, smooth-margined pinnae. The rachis is unusual in having a smattering of hairs on the upper surface matching a mild distribution of hairs on the...

Osmunda claytoniana Interrupted fern Synonym Osmunda interrupta

Osmunda Rhizome Image

Epithet is after John Clayton (1686-1773), a British botanist in North America. Deciduous, 2 to 3 ft. (60 to 90 cm).Zones 2 to 8. Dimorphic. description The rhizome is thick and upright. The unique fertile fronds have leafy tissue at the bottoms and tops, with Osmunda claytoniana showing fertile fronds interrupted with sporangia between top and bottom. blackish sporangia in the middle, hence the common name, interrupted fern. (It also leads some customers to wonder whether the middle is...

Common Dryopteris Ferns In Asia

Dryopteris aitoniana (for William Aiton, 1759-1793, head gardener at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) is a finely divided, 2-ft. (60-cm) evergreen from the Atlantic Islands. The triangular, somewhat glandular blades are borne on long stipes. This plant is cultivated in Zone 8 in Britain. Dryopteris ardechensis (from the Ardeche region of France) grows to 2V2 ft. (75 cm) on rocky cliffs in cold regions of Mediterranean Europe. It is visually similar to both D. filix-mas and D. affinis and likely...

Adiantum capillusveneris Southern maidenhair Venushair fern

Deciduous, 1 ft. (30 cm). Zones 7 (with protection) to 10. description The rhizome is short-creeping. Plum-black stipes are grooved and usually one-third of the frond length. The triangular blade is bipinnate with dark-stalked, wedge-shaped, drooping pinnules. A touch of the dark stem color radiates into the base of the foliage. Forked veins extend to the minute marginal teeth. Sori are elongate bars and marginal on the inrolled segments of the false indusia. This...

Tuberous sword fern

Epithet means with heart-shaped leaves. Evergreen, 18 to 30 in. (45 to 75 cm).Zones 9 to 11. description The rhizome is wide creeping and forms unusual tuberous buds. Stipes are small and insignificant. Narrow upright blades taper at both base and apex and are crowded with 40 to 50 pairs of pinnae. Sori with kidney-shaped indusia are submarginal. range and habitat This species is native in a wide expanse of the tropics including the West Indies, Mexico, South America, the South pacific, and...

Blechnum chilense

Pinna Blechnum Chilense

Evergreen, 3 to 5 ft. (90 to 150 cm). Zones 7 (with protection) to 9. Dimorphic. Intense red temporarily colors the new fronds on Blechnum brasiliense 'Crispum'. description The rhizome is long-creeping, tossing up sturdy erect fronds at random. Grooved stipes, with abundant basal scales, are the color of weak tea and are one-half of the frond length. The once-pinnate, narrowly oblong blades have 10 to 20 pairs of rubbery pinnae on a bit of a stalk. The extended apex...

Lygodium japonicum Japanese climbing fern

Deciduous to evergreen, to 20 ft. (6 m). Zones 6 (with huge amounts of protection) to 10. description The rhizome is short-creeping. Eight-inch (20-cm) stipes, soft and apple green when unfurling, mature to brittle tan shoots. in indoor or warm situations the fronds grow just slightly slower than blackberry vines and, especially when given appropriate support, can twist and tower to 20 ft. (6 m). Outdoors in Zone 8, one or two fronds faithfully emerge in midsummer and,...

Woodwardia orientalis Oriental chain fern

Evergreen, 3 to 5 ft. or more (90 to 150 cm). Zones 9 and 10. description The scaly short ascending rhizome gives rise to a vase of bright green ovate fronds atop a thick green stipe that can be up to one-half the length of the frond. The blade, like those of so many woodwardias, is pinnate-pinnatifid with pointed toothy pinnae. A mature frond produces an astonishing number of little plantlets, suggestive of baby Japanese maple seeds (samaras), on the upper surface....

Asplenium flabellifolium Necklace fern walking fern

Epithet means fan-shaped, referring to the pinnules. Evergreen, 6 to 15 in. (15 to 38 cm).Zone 9. Apogamous. description The rhizome is erect, but fronds tend to be prostrate. Slender green stipes are one-third to one-halfofthe frond length. Blades are once-pinnate with 10 to 12 pairs of fan-shaped pinnae. The rachis extends well beyond the foliage and often bears a tip-rooting bulbil. Sori are linear with matching indusia. range and habitat Although delicate in appearance, this species...

Quercifilix

Quercifilix (querci, oak, filix, fern) is a genus with but a single species. Quercifilix zeylanica (from Ceylon) is a chubby ground-hugging evergreen species suitable for indoor pot culture or, with its creeping rhizomes, as flooring in the conservatory. The 6-in. (15-cm) sterile blades are three-parted. The extended oak-shaped undivided but lobed terminal pinnae is flanked like a dagger with a lower pair of outward-pointing matching pinnae. Fertile fronds are upright and slender, usually...

Thelypteris palustris Marsh fern

Thelypteris Palustris Pond

Synonym Thelypteris thelypteroides Epithet means swamp. Deciduous, 11 2 to 2V2 ft. 45 to 75 cm . Zones 3 to 8. description The rhizome is long- and wide-creeping, sending up fronds at sporadic intervals. Bronze-green stipes are up to one-half of the frond length. Lanceolate blades tending towards a soft blue-green are pinnate-pinnatifid with 12 to 18 pairs of widely separated pinnae. Veins are forked. Sori are medial with a slightly inrolled margin giving the fertile pinnae a narrow outline...

Woodwardia martinezii

Evergreen, 18 to 24 in. 45 to 60 cm . Zones 8 with protection to 10. description This species has a creeping rhizome, proportionately long green stipes, and arching pinnate-pinnatifid broadly triangular fronds. The pinnae are pointed and have minute teeth. The prominent sori are closely placed chains parallel to the mid veins. range and habitat This higher elevation native grows at 6000 ft. 1800 m in Mexican woodlands. culture and comments At 2 ft. 60 cm this is a manageable sized fern for the...

Gymnocarpium disjunctum Western oak fern Epithet means disjunct

Goniophlebium Subauriculatum Knightiae

Goniophlebium subauriculatum 'Knightiae' in the Fernery at the Morris Arboretum. Deciduous, 9 to 18 in. 23 to 45 cm . Zones 4 to cool summer 8. description In appropriately humusy soil, the rhizomes creep easily and widely. Smooth, brittle stipes are straw-colored and up to one-half of the frond length. Soft green triangular to pentagonal horizontal blades are tripinnate-pin-natifid. Six to ten pairs of pinnae have extended lower pinnules. Significantly for this species the innermost lower...

Polystichum stenophyllum

Evergreen, 6 to 18 in. 15 to 45 cm .Zones 6 to 8. description The rhizome is erect. The grooved green stipes are one-fourth of the frond length and trimmed with long-tailed tan scales. The once-pinnate linear blades are firm and very narrow, ranging from V2 to 1 in. 13 to 25 mm wide. Frond tips can have a minute, proliferous bud, smaller than a pinhead, near the apex. They are not obvious. Fifteen to twenty pairs of serrate, auricled pinnae are rosy pink in new...

Woodwardia unigemmata

Woodwardia Biserrata

Epithet means single-jeweled, referring to the bulbil which Evergreen, 3 to 7 ft. 90 to 210 cm . Zones 8 to 10. description A thick rhizome produces fountains of cascading fronds with a greenish stipe up to 30 in. 75 cm and pinnate-pinnatifid blades up to 4 ft. 1.2 m long and 2 ft. 60 cm wide. Young fronds are a sumptuous sight of glossy red and fade in time to a deep green. The pinnae are alternate, very mildly toothed, and strongly acute at their tip and edges. The linear sori, covered with...

Huperzia

The fir mosses were until extremely recently Moran 2004 believed to be fern allies. Sophisticated research has changed this classification. See comments under Selaginella. However, they are indeed without flowers and seeds, and while most are tropical, several form evergreen carpets of miniature, mosslike, upright spikes on forest floors or rocky ledges and are included here for enjoyment and education. They are frequently lumped together with Lycopodium, and enjoy similar shady and generally...

Arachniodes aristata Prickly shield fern

Epithet means bearded, with a hairlike tip, or bristlelike. Evergreen, 1V2 to 21 2 ft. 45 to 75 cm . Zones 6 to 9. description The rhizome is short- to long-creeping. Hay-colored stipes, heavily tan scaled basally are one-half or often more of the frond length. The rachis is grooved, but significantly, the stipes are not. Ovate to pentagonal blades, Aglaomorpha meyeniana growing in the Fernery at the Morris Arboretum. Note the reduced fertile fronds. contracting abruptly to an upward thrusting...

Blechnum montanum Mountain kiokio

Synonyms Blechnum sp. 2, B. capense Epithet means of mountains. Evergreen, 2 to 3 ft. 60 to 90 cm . Zones 7 to 9. Dimorphic. description The rhizome is short-creeping. Stipes of up to one-half of the frond length have sparsely distributed tan Blechnum fluviatile in the wild in New Zealand. Blechnum fluviatile in cultivation with Elatostema rugosum. scales with darker centers. Once-pinnate, ovate, upright, sterile fronds carry 10 to 12 pairs of pinnae with an upward swing at the pinnule tips....

Northern maidenhair five finger fern

Epithet means palmate or pedate, as in a bird's foot. Deciduous, 1V2 to 2 ft. 45 to 60 cm .Zones 3 to 8. description The rhizome is short-creeping. Brittle stipes are purple-black and usually one-half the length of the frond. Adiantum pedatum 'Miss Sharpies'with Acerpalmatum HO 19. They fork into two major branches that curl in an indeterminate recurved circular pattern. The six to eight pinnae per branch become progressively smaller, eventually forming a small curlicue. Note that, unlike...

Polystichum setiferum Soft shield fern

Evergreen, 2 to 3 ft. 60 to 90 cm . Zones 5 to 8. description The rhizome is erect, supporting wide fans of soft, willowy fronds. The grooved stipes are coated with warm-brown scales that are a glittering silver on emerging fiddle-heads. They are one-fifth of the frond length. The bipinnate, lanceolate blade is broadest in the middle with 30 to 40 pairs of pinnae with stalked, toothy spinulose pinnules. Sori with peltate indusia are medial. range and habitat Soft...

Dryopteris blanfordii Blanfords wood fern

Epithet is after British geologist Henry Blanford 1834-1893 , who worked in india. Deciduous, 2 to 2V2 ft. 60 to 75 cm . Zones 5 to 8. Apoga-mous. description The rhizome is ascending and covered with dark scales. The short tan to dark brown, 4-in. 10-cm stipes bear ovate, brownish black scales decreasing in numbers up into the grooved rachis. The bipinnate blade is lanceolate, ta pering to the base with the lowest pinnae about 2 in. 5 cm long. The sori are on the upper third of the frond's 20...

Polystichum lemmonii Shasta fern

Lemmon 1832-1908 , who discovered the species on Mount Shasta in california. Evergreen, 6 to 12 in. 15 to 30 cm .Zones 6 to 8. description The rhizome is erect and creeping, covered with the stubble of old frond stipes. The stipe is one-fourth to one-third of the frond length and has russet scales. The very narrow linear-lanceolate blade is fully bipinnate to bipinnate-pinnatifid. The densely crowded 20 to 30 pairs of pinnae are twisted on a horizontal plane and are...

Adiantum aleuticum Western maidenhair

Adiantum Aleuticum Cultivars

Deciduous, 11 2 to 21 2 ft. 45 to 75 cm .Zones 3 to 8. description The rhizome is short-creeping, producing bushels of bright green foliar fans on upright, iridescent blackish, grooved stipes. Unlike the extremely closely related and former namesake A. pedatum, A. aleuticum produces green, not cherry red, new growth. The stipes are one-half or more of the total frond structure and fork at their tips into two radiating and continuous branches. A close look may reveal a single fan-shaped pinnule...

Harts tongue ferns

With their kelly-green fronds in straplike or various configurations thereof, the hart's tongue ferns can be remarkable additions to the garden's fern portfolio. Phyllitis from Dioscorides' Greek means simple frond. The common species, P. scolopendrium, as opposed to its multiple varieties, is an upright, unbranched entire or simple tongue growing from an erect rhizome. Short succulent stipes, with back-to-back vascular bundles, lift emerging fronds looking like budding Jacks in the pulpit...

Dryopteris neorosthornii

Epithet is after A. von Rosthorn, who collected in china in the late 1890s, and neo, new. Evergreen as found in the trade , 2 to 3 ft. 60 to 90 cm . Zones 6 7 and 8. Apogamous. description The rhizome is erect. The stipes with prominent, luminous blackish-tan V4-in. 6-mm scales are one-fourth of the shower of golden fronds. The radiant, bipinnate blades are lanceolate with 20 to 24 pairs of pinnae. The sori are medial and protected by a kidney-shaped indusium. range and habitat This fern is...

Cyrtomium lonchitoides

Epithet means spear-shaped or lance-shaped. Evergreen, 1 to 1V2 ft. 30 to 45 cm .Zones 6 to 9. description The rhizome is erect. Bright green stipes of one-fourth of the frond length emerge from dark chocolate bases and are sparsely trimmed with buff scales. Once-pinnate Slender fronds of Cyrtomium lonchitoides in the Gassner Bold large leaves on Cyrtomium macrophyllum. Slender fronds of Cyrtomium lonchitoides in the Gassner Bold large leaves on Cyrtomium macrophyllum. narrowly lanceolate...

Arachniodes miqueliana

Epithet is after Dutch botanist Friedrich Miquel 1811-1871 . Deciduous, 2 to 3 ft. 60 to 90 cm .Zones 5 to 8. description The rhizome is long-creeping, but with restrained frond production. Chestnut-colored stipes with scattered brown scales are especially dark basally and one-half of the frond length. The triangular tripinnate to quadripinnate blades are umbrellas of soft green pinnae with markedly elongate, signature lower pinnules on the basal pinnae. Frond apices are contracted. Unlike the...

Osmunda regalis Royal fern flowering fern Epithet means royal

Deciduous, 2 to 6 ft. 60 to 180 cm or more. Zones 2 to 10. description Here is the royal fern and regal it is with broadly ovate fronds occasionally up to 9 ft. 2.7 m on trunklike rhizomes. One third is stipe and the remainder is made up of a bipinnate blade, with opposite pinnae suggestive of Osmunda regalis 'Gracilis' in the Schmick garden. Osmunda regalis 'Gracilis' in the Schmick garden. locust tree foliage. The fertile portion replaces the leafy tissue at the tips of the spore-bearing...

Asplenium trichomanes Maidenhair spleenwort

Also from Theophrastus, hair madness. Evergreen, 4 to 8 in. 10 to 20 cm .Zones 3 to 9. description The rhizome is ascending. Glossy reddish-brown stipes with a flattened groove are one-fourth to one-third of the frond length and barely visible under the foliage. Some are persistent for years with batons of upright, naked spikes. Narrow, once-pinnate blades are linear with 20 to 30 pairs of round to oblong, matte green pinnae. Sori and indu-sia are linear in a...

Staghorn ferns

Platycerium Ridleyi

With their unique outlines, the staghorn ferns are in a class all by themselves. Wherever available, and sometimes when not so available making them all the more desirable , they have attracted an ardent support group devoted to their culture and definition. In nature they are epiphytes and in cultivation they hang from assorted structures as outdoor greenery in Southern California, Florida, and wherever else they can be protected from the elements. Indoors they are prized in homes and...

Cheilanthes bonariensis

Evergreen, 1 ft. 30 cm .Zones 8 and 9. Apogamous. description The rhizome is short-creeping to erect with dark chocolate-colored, slight stipes to one-fifth of the frond length. The narrow 1- to 11 2-in. 2.5- to 3.8-cm wide, linear once-pinnate blades have 30 to 40 pairs of many lobed pinnae. The blue-green upper surface is lightly dusted with an occa sional stubby hair. The undersides, however, are magnificently coated with mats of woolly, cream-colored to...

Dicksonia

This genus offers some marvelous options for tree fern enthusiasts, whether new to the experience or experts in the genre, gardening in Zones 9 and 10 as well as those with a dedication to enjoying and overwintering them in Zone 8. Named for James Dickson 1738-1822 , the genus has 22 species from montane tropical sites in the South Pacific with temperate relatives native to New Zealand and Australia. The type species is from the island of Saint Helena, which is probably better known for its...

Selaginella oregana oregon spikemoss

Evergreen, hanging epiphyte. Zones 5 to 8. description Oregon spikemoss drapes from trees and is often referred to as and believed to be a hanging moss, in the rain forests ofWashington State's Olympic National Park. It is not likely that one in a hundred knows that it is not a moss Frye 1934 . Trailing, stringy foliage, sometimes reaching a length of 2 ft. 60 cm , readily extends along the trunks and branches of host trees shrouding them with curtains of greenery....

Polystichum tagawanum Tagawas holly fern

Epithet is after Japanese botanist Motozi Tagawa 1908-1977 . Evergreen, IV2 to 2 ft. 45 to 60 cm .Zones 4 to 8. description The rhizome is erect. Green stipes are one-fourth to one-third of the frond length and framed with fringed, dull brown scales. Lanceolate blades are bipinnate and silky green with well-separated pinnae and pinnules. There are 18 to 25 pairs of pinnae with the lowest inclined slightly forward. Sori with peltate indusia are submarginal. range and habitat This Japanese...

Arachniodes simplicior East Indian holly fern

Epithet means simpler, referring to the fronds which are less finely divided than those of A. aristata. Evergreen, 1 to 2 ft. 30 to 60 cm .Zones 7 to 9. description The rhizome is long-creeping, producing fronds periodically. The plant is not bushy in the pacific Northwest. The tannish-green stipes with dark basal scales are upwards of one-half of the frond length. Thick radiant blades are bipinnate daggers with expansive two to five lower pairs of pinnae sweeping out well beyond the ultimate,...

Clubmosses

Clubmosses produce extended rooting swags of rounded stems dressed in needlelike leaves. They were formerly classified as fern allies but under the scrutiny of modern research techniques Moran 2004 now have a family tree of their own. See Selaginella for comments. Sometimes called ground pine or running pine, visually descriptive although botanically incorrect epithets, these spore-bearing plants are Lycopodiella appressa inconspicuously shares the bog at Websmill in the Pinelands of New...

Polystichum munitum

Western sword fern Epithet means armed. Evergreen, 3 to 5 ft. 90 to 150 cm . Zones 6 to 9. description The rhizome is erect and supports bushels of swordlike lush foliage sometimes up to 50 fronds per clump. The short, grooved stipe displays medium to dark brown scales and is one-fifth of the frond length. The linear-lanceolate blade is once-pinnate with 30 to 50 pairs of burnished, rich green pinnae prominently auricled. The sori with peltate indusia trace the margins of the pinnae including...

Athyrium filixfemina Lady fern

Deciduous, 3 to 6 ft. 90 to 180 cm .Zones 4 to 8. description The rhizome is stout and erect. Succulent, grooved, greenish-tan stipes are swollen at the base, with dark brown scales, and are up to or sometimes exceeding half of the frond length. Lanceolate blades are bipinnate-pinnatifid with 20 to 30 pairs of pinnae. New fronds are produced throughout the season. Sori and indusia are linear, crescent or hook-shaped athyroid . range and habitat Athyrium filix-femina...

Cheilanthes Coriacea

Cheilanthes arizonica Arizona lip fern is apogamous with small 10-in. 25-cm fronds open in structure with pentagonal blades up to four times pinnate. The innermost pinnules throughout the frond are conspicuously elongate. The species is rare in nature with but a few stations on igneous rocks on the border between Arizona-New Mexico and Mexico and southward to central America. it is not in cultivation but would make a lacy companion to its more densely compact Cheilanthes cousins. Cheilanthes...

Selaginella borealis

Evergreen, 2 to 6 in. 5 to 15 cm .Zones 3 to 8. description Small, tightly woven, thin threads of dark green braided foliage zigzag with airy twigs of scattering branches. The stalks are short and grow from slowly creeping wiry underground stems. range and habitat This is primarily a native of extremely cold habitats from China through Mongolia to Russia. There it grows on the exposed steppes adjacent to Lake Baikal, which at 5720 ft. 1720 m is the world's deepest...

Onoclea sensibilis Sensitive fern bead fern

Epithet refers to the sensitive sterile fronds which turn yellow and die down at the first frost. Deciduous, 2 to 3 ft. 60 to 90 cm . Zones 2 to 10. Dimorphic. description The woody blackish-brown rhizome, partially submerged or skimming the soil's surface, is long-creeping and branching, producing fronds at frequent intervals. The stipe is one-half of the frond length. The triangular, papery-textured sterile blade is once-pinnate with a stalked basal pinnae pair and upper pinnae becoming...

Dryopteris stenolepis

Synonyms Dryopteris atrata var. stenolepis, D. hirtipes var. stenolepis Epithet means narrow-scaled. Evergreen, 3 to 5 ft. 90 to 150 cm . Zone 8. Apogamous. description The rhizome is erect, supporting stout light brown stipes with abundant scales shading from light brown in the basal portions through brownish-black in the upward expansion of the frond and rachis. The stipes can be up to one-half of the tall frond. The narrowly lanceolate blades are once-pinnate with 30 to 50 pairs of long and...

Polystichum Dracomontanum

Many of the polystichums described here are already in cultivation and, though relatively unknown, all offer promise for gardens and inspired growers throughout temperate regions. In addition to the above, there are a number of currently unidentified species arriving from China, and specifically from Yunnan, including several ornamental prizes that are in cultivation in Europe. Hybrids traditionally are vigorous and easy additions to the horticultural palette and the Polystichum progeny...

Synonym Polypodium australe

Epithet means from Cambria, an old name for Wales. Wintergreen summer dormant , 4 to 24 in. 10 to 60 cm . Zones 6 when heavily winter mulched to 9. description The rhizome is short- to long-creeping. Stipes are one-half of the frond length, and the apple-green pinnate blades are ovate with the second from the bottom pair of pinnae the longest. The 12 to 18 pairs of pinnae are frequently serrate. Sori without indusia are round and pregnant with bright yellow spores when ripe. The species and all...

Ceterach officinarum

Ceterach Officinarum Habitat

Evergreen, 3 to 8 in. 7.5 to 20 cm .Zones 5 to 8. description The rhizome is erect. Succulent tan-green stipes with a sparse smattering of brown scales are one-fourth the length of the frond or less. The rich green blades with zigzag lobes of pinnae are reminiscent in outline of the rick-rack that adorned the dresses of little girls in my childhood. Young fronds emerge with a shimmering undercoat of translucent and protective silvery scales. In time these mature to the...

Polystichum retrosopaleaceum

Synonym Polystichum aculeatum var. retroso-paleaceum Epithet means twisted back scales. Evergreen, 2 to 3 ft. 60 to 90 cm . Zones 5 to 8. description The rhizome is erect. The grooved stipes are dark chocolate in color, one-fourth of the frond length, and trimmed on opposite outer sides with down- and forward-thrusting pale tan scales. The lanceolate blade with earthward-pointing basal pinnae is bipinnate with 20 or more pairs of pinnae. Sori are medial with peltate indusia. range and habitat...

Dryopteris yigongensis

Zones 6 7 and 8. Apoga-mous. description The rhizome is short and erect. The light brown stipe has dark, basal, ovate scales that diminish in numbers towards the rachis. The stipe is one-fourth to one-third of the length of the frond. The lanceolate blade flares in a graceful arch and tapers towards the base. The lower pinnae point slightly downwards. It is pinnate-pinnatifid to bipinnate with 15 to 20 pairs of lanceolate, pointed pinnae. The pinnules are...

Dryopteris hondoensis

Epithet means from Hondo, a city in Japan. Evergreen, 2 ft. 60 cm .Zones 4 to 8. Apogamous. description The rhizome is ascending to short-creeping. The crown bears fronds that are one-third sparingly scaly stipes supporting ovate, bipinnate to bipinnate-pinnatifid lustrous blades with up to 15 pairs of pinnae. The sori are medial and covered with a kidney-shaped indusium. range and habitat This is native to moist forested areas in Japan, China, and Korea. culture and comments Dryopteris...

Dryopteris clintoniana Clintons wood fern

Epithet is after George William Clinton 1807-1885 . Deciduous to semievergreen, 2V2 to 3V2 ft. 75 to 105 cm . Zones 3 to 8. Dimorphic. description This hybrid leans towards Dryopteris cristata in appearance with broadly triangular lower pinnae but without the strongly horizontal pinnae habit. The deciduous fertile fronds are narrowly lanceolate, pinnate-pinnatifid to 3 ft. 90 cm , and the sterile fronds, with 14 to 16 pairs of pinnae, are evergreen and...

Acknowledgments

Jam indebted to many talented and special friends and family members who have contributed advice and observations from their considerable knowledge, who have patiently offered welcome encouragement, and, for some, devoted many hours of time to the making of this book. Thank you does not begin to express my gratitude but I am indeed grateful to you all. Very special thanks go to long-time friend George Schenk, who has kindly offered invaluable support, encouragement, and welcome advice...

Woodland Gardens

In the woodland garden, ferns enjoy a site with filtered light shade and soil1 not to be called dirt enriched with compost, humus, or the well-draining leaf mold associated with the undisturbed forest floor. Most species appreciate and thrive in acid soil that fortuitously occurs naturally under a canopy of conifers with their annual top-dressing droppings of lightweight needles. A clay soil, while nutritionally dense, is problematic. For most gardeners, it is easier to establish plants in...

Synonym Asplenium foresiense

Epithet is after the Forez region in east-central France. Evergreen, 3 to 8 in. 7.5 to 20 cm .Zones 5 to 8. description The rhizome is erect. The stipes of one-fourth the frond length are bicolored, grooved, and shiny green on the inward side backed by an undercoat of glossy brown. Sparse hairs are color-coordinated respectively. Blades are narrowly lanceolate with 10 to 15 pairs of bright green bipinnate pinnae. sori are linear with linear indusia. range and habitat This species is exclusively...

Blechnum spicant Deer fern

Blechnum Rickard Serrate

Evergreen, IV2 to 2V2 ft. 45 to 75 cm . Zones 5 to 8. Dimorphic. description The rhizome is erect. Horizontal whorls of evergreen, oblanceolate, sterile fronds are once-pinnate with 40 or more pairs of pinnae that are greatly reduced at the base. The purplish-brown grooved stipes are one-sixth or less of the frond length. Deciduous fertile fronds, with grooved shiny ebony stipes of up to one-half of the frond length, are taller and upright, waving to the breeze to...

Dryopteris oreades

Epithet is from Greek mythology and means nymphs of mountains, male fern of mountains. Early deciduous, 1V2 to 2V2 ft. 45 to 75 cm .Zones 4 to 8. description The rhizome is short-creeping producing narrow upright fronds. Grooved gray-scaled stipes are one-fourth of the frond length. The pinnate-pinnatifid to almost bipinnate blades are lanceolate and dull green, and have crispy pinna margins. There are 15 to 25 pairs of pinnae. The species is one of the parents, along with D. caucasica, of D....

Dryopteris namegatae

Synonym Dryopteris dickinsii var. namegatae Epithet is after the Namegata region of Japan. Evergreen, 2 to 3 ft. 60 to 90 cm . Zones 6 to 8. Apogamous. description The erect rhizome produces a corpulent crown up to 4 in. 10 cm in diameter. The green stipes are densely wrapped in glossy, blackish scales with the basal masses 1 2 to 1 in. 13 to 25 mm long. The stipes are one-quarter to one-third of the narrowly lanceolate, once-pinnate fronds. There are 20 to 25 pairs of pinnae with the lower...

Asplenium bulbiferum Mother fern

Epithet means with bulbils Evergreen, 2 to 4 ft. 60 to 120 cm . Zones 9 and 10. description The rhizome is erect. Stipes of two-toned green and brown are one-third the length of the frond. Ovate blades are variable bipinnate to tripinnate with families of ready-to-root babies on the upper frond surface. Sori with matching indusia are singular on the segments. range and habitat Mother fern grows in most of Asia as well as Australia and New Zealand. it prefers deeply shaded damp to evenly moist...

Tree Ferns

Ferns With Trunks

Tree ferns are magnificent specimens native to the moist forests of the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and across the entire Southern Hemisphere where they stand tall and dignified. They are indeed treelike and range in height from 3 to 60 ft. 90 cm to 18 m with members of the Cyatheaceae being the tallest. The arching fronds, among the largest leaves of any plant, flush from the top of the trunk and can reach 20 ft. 6 m . Like most ferns they are ancient plants, predating the dinosaur...

Cystopteris fragilis Fragile fern

Deciduous, 8 to 16 in. 20 to 40 cm . Zones 2 to 9. description The rhizome is short-creeping, bearing food-storing stubs of old stipes. Fresh green stipes are grooved and one-half of the frond length. Lanceolate blades are bipinnate with up to 15 pairs of thin-textured lax pinnae. Sori are bundled in bladderlike torch-shaped indusia. The new fronds unfurl early, somewhere between the welcome blossoms of snowdrops and crocuses, eagerly announcing, albeit...

Arachniodes standishii Upside down fern

Epithet is perhaps after John Standish 1814-1875 , a British nurseryman who imported from Japan. Evergreen, 2 to 3 ft. 60 to 90 cm .Zones 5 to 9. description The rhizome creeps slowly. Grooved pea-green stipes are one-third of the frond length. The stipe scales are a dark russet and especially prevalent on new growth. Broadly ovate blades, produced in a more vaselike arrangement than other arachniodes, are tripinnate-pinnatifid to, rarely, quadripinnate with 10 to 18 pairs of borderline glassy,...

Dennstaedtia hirsuta

Deciduous, 10 to 18 in. 25 to 45 cm . Zones 4 to 8. description The rhizome is short-creeping.Yellow-green, pilose stipes are up to one-half of the frond length. Hairy, sterile, broadly lanceolate, pinnate-pinnatifid fronds are slightly smaller than the comparably divided and hairy taller upright fertile fronds. Sori with their cup-shaped, protective indusia are distributed along the pinnae margins. range and habitat This is native to sunny rocky crevices and cliffs in colder regions from...

Dryopteris lepidopoda Sunset fern

Evergreen, 2 to 21 2 ft. 60 to 75 cm .Zones 5 6 to 9. Apoga-mous. description The erect rhizome and stipes are adorned with dark chocolate scales. The proportionately tall stipes are one-half of the frond length. The bipinnate, glossy blades, with an average of 20 pairs of pinnae, are broadly lanceolate. They emerge in richly decorative hues of salmon, orange, pink, and deep rose that subside into warm green tones. With the base of the blade squared and blunt truncate...

Asplenium csikii

Synonym Asplenium trichomanes subsp. pachyrachis Epithet is after Erno Csiki, a late nineteenth-century Hungarian beetle specialist. Evergreen, 4 to 6 in. 10 to 15 cm .Zones 5 to 8. description The rhizome is erect. Dark chocolate-black stipes are short to almost nonexistent and bear an occasional black scale or hair. Narrowly lanceolate blades are once- pinnate with 10 to 15 pairs of overlapping blue-green pinnae. Sori are in a linear herringbone pattern with matching indu-sia and are produced...

Blechnum brasiliense

Evergreen, 2 to 4 ft. 60 to 120 cm . Zones 9 and 10, or greenhouse. description The rhizome is erect, eventually lifting to form a stipe-stubbled trunk of 12 in. 30 cm in circumference. Fronds form a dramatic upright shuttlecock of open foliage. The succulent, short, 2-in. 5-cm stipes are dark with matching chocolate-colored linear scales. The obovate blade is widest above the midpoint and tapers strongly at the base. Blechnum brasiliense in the Fernery at the Morris...

Bulbils

I once saw a program where a professional, who should have known better, described how to grow ferns from cuttings. This was especially interesting and disconcerting since ferns do not grow from cuttings. And folks wonder why they have little luck with fern propagating. Growing from bulbils, or bulblets little nodules along the fern's rachis, the stemlike section of the leafy portion of the frond , comes close, but is not the same. Cystopteris bulbifera has bulbils the color and size of peas...

Dryopteris decipiens

Deciduous to evergreen winter cold dependent , 1 to 1V2 ft. 30 to 45 cm . Zones 5 to 8. Apogamous. description The rhizome forms an erect crown. Spare rosettes of blunt-tipped, pinnate-pinnatifid fronds, with a silky opalescent pink glow, grow shyly. The short, grooved stipes are usually less than one-fourth of the frond length. There are 15 to 20 pairs of pinnae with the lower pair flaring forward and downwards. Spores are produced reluctantly on medial sori. range and...

Deparia

Until the late 1990s, most species assigned to Deparia were classified elsewhere, frequently as athyriums, but occasionally as diplaziums. Botanically they can be distinguished from both Athyrium and Diplazium because the grooves on the midrib of the Deparia pinnae do not join those of the rachis. in addition Deparia has multicellular hairs on the midribs, and as growers will notice, a long-creeping rhizome. Diplazium, with bivalved indusia, is segregated more easily. Taxo-nomic designations...

Cheilanthes tomentosa Woolly lip fern

Zones 6 to 8. Apogamous. description The rhizome is short-creeping, producing dense colonies of gray green fronds. The stipes are russet with creamy hairs giving them a pinkish hue. They are one-third to one-half of the frond length. Blades are oblong-lanceolate, and tripinnate with 10 to 15 pairs of well-spaced pinnae. The upper surface is lightly trimmed with spiderlike white hairs, and the lower surface has a combination of whitish hairs and scales so...

Athyrium vidalii

Deciduous, 11 2 to 2V2 ft. 45 to 75 cm . Zones 5 with protection to 9. description The rhizome is erect. The colorful fuchsia-brownish stipes of one-half of the frond length have the typical swollen Athyrium base. Accompanying slender scales are linear. ovate blades with small spines are bipinnate to bipin-nate-pinnatifid. The 10 to 15 pairs of pinnae terminate in a constricted triangle at the apex. Sori and indusia are a half-moon to a hooked-J shape. range and habitat Athyrium vidalii is...

Stumperies

Highgrove Garden Pictures

Stumperies date back to Victorian times and are to the woodland landscape what a rock garden is to the sunny site an effective foil for displaying plants. Essentially, ferns and companions are tucked into pockets of soil in downed trees, their stumps, or snags. Ecologically appropriate with a rustic appearance, stumperies offer a balance between nature and foliage contrasting texturally for a pleasing, natural, woodland effect. They are perfectly designed for ferns and can be as simple as a...