Pyrrosia eleagnifolia

Synonym Pyrrosia serpens

Epithet means "leaves like an olive tree."

Evergreen, 1 to 3 in. (2.5 to 7.5 cm). Zones 9 and 10. Dimorphic.

description: The rhizome is long-creeping, producing masses of 1-in. (2.5-cm), fleshy, elliptic sterile fronds on very short stipes. Slightly taller narrow fertile fronds, say 2 or 3 in. (5 to 7.5 cm) tall, have two rows of indusia-free sori on either side of the midrib. The upper surface of the undivided pinnae is forest-green with a smattering of hairs. The undersides are coated with stellate hairs that are silver on the young fronds and fade to tan at maturity.

range and habitat: This extremely drought tolerant creeper comes from New Zealand. It covers rocks, walls, and trees with sheets of glorious foliage.

culture and comments: Unfortunately, in spite of its abundance, this species is difficult to establish. Fern fanciers in Zone 9 should offer it patience, dryish exposed conditions,

The white dots of hydathodes magnified by a microscopic view on the upper surface of Pyrrosia hastata. Photo by Richie Steffen, Miller Botanical Garden.

Close up of Pyrrosia on a Dicksonia trunk.

A host tree enveloped by Pyrrosia eleagnifolia in its native New Zealand.

Silver-frosted arrowheads of fronds of Pyrrosia hastata 'Chejn Silver'.

Layers of soft fronds of Pyrrosia linearifolia crowd together in container culture at the Miller Botanical Garden.

and coddling. Rickard (2000) notes that it climbs about on the trunks of Dicksonia antarctica at Logan Botanic Gardens on the coast of Scotland.

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