Actiniopteris

Actiniopteris (radiating, from the Greek aktis, ray, and pteris, fern) has but four or five species concentrated in nature on the African continent. They are small plants and look like miniature umbrellas with exposed spokes.

Fertile frond on Acrostichum aureum showing acrostichoid sori.

Acrostichum aureum near the Kennedy Space Center.

Actiniopteris semiflabellata (half-fan-shaped), essentially a collector's plant, is cultivated by knowledgeable xeric collectors in Southern California. It requires gritty, well-draining soil and careful attention to watering. Too little water and it will wilt, too much water and the crown will rot. This is a novelty to be admired and offers pride of ownership when well grown. It is best in Zone 9 or warmer.

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