Asplenium nidus at 10 or 12 years old is about 7 to 8 ft. (2.1 to 2.4 m) wide. It will go on to become a 12 footer (3.6 m). Photo by George Schenk.
Asplenium nidus var. plicatum, the lasagna fern, in an indoor fern corridor at Longwood Gardens.
Epithets derived from obovatum, inverted, and billotii, after Billot.
Evergreen, 4 to 10 in. (10 to 25 cm).Zones 8 and 9.
description: The rhizome is short-creeping or ascending. Stipes are one-third the length of the frond and bicolored, predominantly green on the upper surface and brown on the basal portions of the lower surface. Ovate-lanceolate blades are bipinnate with 10 to 20 pairs of slightly shiny midgreen pinnae. The lower pair is significantly smaller than those above and is inclined downwards. The sori are linear but short and when ripe appear to be round. The indusia bulge.
range and habitat: This species is European including the British Isles and is found primarily in acid grit, cliff faces, and rocks in coastal regions.
culture and comments: An engaging little plant, lanceolate spleenwort is best in an alpine house away from the extremes of temperatures. Like many aspleniums it is admired by slugs and protection is an on-going requirement. New growth is early—another reason to tuck the plant in an alpine house.
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