Arachniodes denticulata

Epithet means "slightly toothed."

Deciduous to semievergreen, 1 to 11/2 ft. (30 to 45 cm). Zones 8 and 9.

description: The rhizome is ascending. Reddish-brown stipes with a few linear scales are one-third to one-half of the frond length. Triangular blades are deep green and finely divided into tripinnate to quadripinnate airy foliage with five to eight hair-tipped pairs of pinnae. As is typical with Arach-niodes, the lower innermost pinnules on the lowest pinnae are significantly longer than adjacent pinnules. Sori with kidney-shaped indusia are medial.

range and habitat: Arachniodes denticulata is one of only a handful of neotropical arachniodes. With widespread distribution, it is found in wet montane forests from Mexico to Brazil with outlying populations in the Caribbean Islands.

culture and comments: Gloriously lacy, this potentially hardy species comes highly recommended by both Mickel (1994) and Rickard (2000). Beginning fern gardeners, testing their skills (and luck), should try other ferns first, however, as this clearly needs protection and with "iffy" hardiness is not likely to be a confidence builder. As yet, it is not common in cultivation.

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