Fountain spleenwort smooth rock spleenwort

Epithet means "growing near springs or streams." Evergreen, 4 to 8 in. (10 to 20 cm).Zones 5 to 8.

description: The rhizome is erect. Stipes transition from a dark base to green and are up to one-third of the frond length. Bright green blades are lacy, bipinnate-pinnatifid, lanceolate, and broadest in the lower midsection of the 10 to 20 pairs of pinnae. sori are linear with linear indusia.

range and habitat: A denizen of dryish, alpine, limestone crevices and walls, this species grows in Europe and the Himalayas.

culture and comments: Truly a gem with petite green "fountains" of fronds, the fountain spleenwort is best planted in the controlled environment of a trough or alpine house. Loose soil, preferably with a touch of limestone, protection from overwatering, and precautions for slugs and snails will help to maintain this species at its ornamental best. A miniature replica that matures at 3 to 4 in. (7.5 to 10 cm) is in the trade in the united states and Britain and is a charming choice for a groundcover in bonsai plantings as well as the elite section of the rare plant collection.

Subsp. pseudofontanum is a geographical variant from Asia.

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