Adiantum jordanii California maidenhair

Epithet possibly honors Rudolf Jordan (1818-1910), who reportedly discovered the species.

Wintergreen (summer dormant), 1 to 11/2 ft. (30 to 45 cm). Zones 8 and 9.

description: The rhizome is short-creeping, producing clusters of triangular, bipinnate fronds on chestnut stipes of one-third to one-half of the frond length. The pinnules are short-stalked, broad fans with a sweep of four or more linear, false-indusia-protected sori along the ultimate edges.

range and habitat: This is a species of drier sites in Oregon and California, and ranges down to Baja California. It prefers ravines and crumbly rocky habitats with efficient drainage and partial shade.

culture and comments: I have seen this in gardens on occasion, but not for long. It is for the expert grower for whom it offers frustration and an occasional frond (plus a certain temporary pride of ownership). It must be given sandy soil, light shade, and minimal summer water. It is not easily reproduced from spores. Admire it while on spring walks in the specialized semialpine, slightly arid habitats that are central between the pacific Ocean and inland mountain ranges.

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