Asplenium monanthes Single sorus spleenwort

Epithet means "one-flowered," referring to the single sorus. Evergreen, 5 to 10 in. (13 to 25 cm). Zones 8 (with protection) and 9. Apogamous.

description: The rhizome is erect. Dusky, shiny stipes are one-fifth the frond length, naked, and slightly grooved on the upper surface. Blades are linear with 20 or more pairs of irregularly shaped oblong to rectangular, rather than rounded, sea-green pinnae. The species is recognized by the single (rarely more) indusium-covered, linear sorus that runs parallel to the edge on the pinna's lower side.

range and habitat: This species grows in rocky sites as well as piney woods from South America up through Mexico and in rare stations across a southern swath of the United States. It is also found in Hawaii, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Atlantic Islands.

culture and comments: I have given this species the same specialized treatment as the xeric ferns in my collection. They are planted in fast-draining, loose soil in a container with a southern exposure well protected from cold winter north winds. They should certainly do in Zone 8 partially shaded rock gardens, in coarse compost, with an emergency covering when threatened by temperatures below 20°F (-7°C).

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