Bommeria (after Joseph Bommer, 1829-1895, a Belgian pteri-dologist) is a small genus with only five species. They are all from inhospitable rock-crusted Zone 7 to 10 sites in the U.S. Southwest, Mexico, and Central America.

Bommeria hispida (hairy), the copper fern, is the most familiar species. Forest blue-green, pinnate-pinnatifid pentagonal blades, with long basal pinnules, are coated with a protective white cottony froth, which is beneficial to the fern and ornamentally appealing to the collector. Rhizomes are creeping and the tall stipes, of at least one-half of the 10-in. (25 cm) frond, are a rich copper brown. Sori without indusia trim the free veins, increasing in abundance toward the margins. Specialists in the Greater Seattle, Washington, area have attempted to acclimate this species in their customized xeric sites without lasting success. Assorted cheilanthes, by contrast, will succeed. Give it good drainage, air circulation, protection from winter wet, and your best wishes.

Stressed Bommeria hispida reacts to attempts at cultivation.

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