Shorter Notes

Diplazium australe (of the south) is a large 3- to 4-ft. (90-to 120-cm) deciduous fern from New Zealand and Australia, where with its creeping tendencies it can become somewhat weedy. Like others in the genus the rhizome roams about, creating a colony of tufted foliage. The ovate bipinnate to tripin-nate fronds are thin-textured and not resistant to prolonged frosts. This species is easily established as background filler in part shade and moist ordinary soil in Zones 9 and 10.

Diplazium esculentum (fit to eat, vegetable fern), from Africa, parts of Asia, and Polynesia, has an upright rhizome, which in time forms a small trunk. it colonizes from root buds. Tall, straggly fronds, which may reach 4 ft. (1.2 m) or more, are ovate and bipinnate-pinnatifid at maturity. This tropical species has naturalized in Hawaii, Florida, and Louisiana, growing in wet soils in Zones 9 to 11. Young crosiers are eaten cooked or raw in Asia.

Diplazium subsinuatum (nearly wavy margined), synonym D. lanceum, is from Japan, Korea, China, eastern Asia, and nearby islands from the Philippines to Borneo. it produces upright narrow and entire, evergreen fronds from branching creeping rhizomes. With a height of 6 to 18 in. (15 to 45 cm), it is recommended for use as a ground cover in light shade and composty soil in Zones 9 and 10.

Diplazium tomitaroanum (cut) is very similar to D. subsinuatum but with lobed frond margins. I have grown this handsome species indoors for 20 years. it is well behaved and totally undemanding of anything but regular watering. outdoors it is suitable for Zones 9 and 10.

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