Cheilanthes lanosa Hairy lip fern

Epithet means "woolly" or "softly hairy." Evergreen, 6 to 12 in. (15 to 30 cm).Zones 5 to 8.

description: The rhizome is short-creeping, producing stands of upright foliage. Rounded dusky stipes are one-fourth to one-third of the frond length and significantly have hairs but no scales. The lanceolate bipinnate blade is made up of 10 to 15 pairs of gray-green pinnae that are sparsely "woolly" with a reddish undercoat of hairs. (The derivation "woolly" is actually far more descriptive of other cheilanthes.) Sori are marginal and have false inrolled indusia.

range and habitat: Cheilanthes lanosa is a resident of rocky hillsides, ledges, and ankle-breaking terrain from the midwestern to eastern united States.

culture and comments: This species has been successfully established in the gardens of specialists in Britain and the United States. The traditional cautions, especially the need for good drainage, apply. For those anxious to include xeric ferns in the garden palette, this is a litmus plant. With good luck, proceed.

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