Cheilanthes distans

Woolly cloak fern

Epithet means "similar parts distant."

Evergreen, 6 to 12 in. (15 to 30 cm). Zones 8 to 10. Apoga-


description: The rhizome is short-creeping. The erect stipes of up to one-half the frond length are rusty colored and heavily scaled. The bipinnate to tripinnate dark green blades are linear with silver hairs above and masses of tawny scales below. The sori edge the pinnae and are covered by false indusia.

range and habitat: This species is a native of poor soil sites among rocks from the lowlands to montane areas in New Zealand and Australia, usually in full sun.

culture and comments: Cheilanthes distans, like a number of other cheilanthes, has had some identification problems in the trade, but the true plant is easier in cultivation than many fellow xerics. It needs the required accommodations for good drainage, no winter wet, and a good dose of bright light. pot culture is an ideal solution.

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