Blechnum appendiculatum

Synonym Blechnum occidentale var. minor Epithet means "appendaged."

Evergreen, 12 to 18 in. (30 to 45 cm). Zones 8 (with protection) and 9.

description: The rhizome is erect with creeping stolons. Grooved greenish-brown stipes with a few scales are one-third to one-half of the frond length. Narrowly lanceolate blades are once-pinnate with 6 to 10 pairs of pinnae before becoming sessile and ultimately tapering to pinnatifid at the apex. Pinnules have a hint of a hump at their point of attachment to the rachis. The underside of the rachis is dusted with minute peach-fuzz-like hairs. Unlike many blechnums this species is monomorphic with the unreduced fertile pinnae similar to the sterile. Sori and indusial tissue are linear on the pinnae. Freshly collected spores germinate enthusiastically.

range and habitat: This species grows streamside in the southern United States and continues down through Mexico

Rosy new growth on Blechnum appendiculatum.

to Central and South America with disjunct populations in Hawaii.

culture and comments: Very similar to the less-hardy Blechnum occidentale, it unfurls with cheerful Christmas greens and reds. It survived outdoors in Bellevue, Washington, during the winter of 2005 with temperatures dipping, albeit briefly, to 25°F (-4°C) but not in a short 14°F (-10°C) February cold snap in winter 2006. It should be cultivated in friable acid soil in part shade and moist surroundings.

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