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 dagger at the apex, sport a brilliant, bright forest-green sheen and are tri-pinnate to quadripinnate with 5 to 10 pairs of spine-tipped pinnae. The innermost pinnules on the lowest pinnae aim their swordlike foliage in downward extensions well exceeding the length of the adjacent pinnules. Smaller upward-thrusting pinnules on the same pinnae are longer than their neighbors, but the characteristic is not as pronounced as with the downward pair. Sori are medial with kidney-shaped indusia. The species hybridizes with Arachniodes simplicior and A. standishii.
range and habitat: The extensive native range includes the traditional fern-rich Asian areas of Japan, China, and Korea as well as India, the South Pacific Islands, New Zealand, and Australia. The species grows in dryish montane forests.
culture and comments: Easily established, Arachniodes aris-tata will quietly enhance the lightly shaded bed in woodland duff. Although the rhizome does creep (in theory), it produces only a few fronds annually. Those few fronds are spectacularly electric with their green brilliance. use it for glassy green contrast among the subdued soft greens and blues of hosta foliage.
'Okoze', a 6- to 10-in. (15- to 25-cm) dwarf and imbricate Japanese cultivar introduced in the united States by Asiatica Nursery of Pennsylvania, is so incredibly shiny it could easily be mistaken for a plastic fake fern. Not so, however, and with its compact habit, it has great potential for container culture and collector's pride. It is recommended for Zones 7 to 10.
'Variegata', the handsome variegated Arachniodes, frequently listed as a cultivar of A. aristata, is now classified as A. simplicior.
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