Thursday, January 20, 2011

Maidenhair Ferns

A genus of delicate looking and dainty Ferns that are surprisingly tough.
They prefer moist, shady sites. Most do not like mulch.

Adiantum capillis veneris ( Southern Maidenhair )
A very vigorous, rhizomatous, spreading, deciduous to evergreen Fern forming a dense clump reaching up to 2 x 3 feet. Some records include: 2 years - width of 3 feet.
It is native to many places around the world in temperate climates including North America ( from southern Missouri to Maryland; south to Texas to south Florida ) and southern Europe.
The very attractive fronds reach up to 28 x 10 inches in size, bearing many lobed leaflets. The foliage is luxuriant bright green.
The fronds are borne in slender, glossy blackish stalks.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in partial to full shade on moist, fertile, limestone soils.
The Southern Maidenhair prefers woodland conditions. It is not prone to pests or disease.

* photo taken on Aug 29 2013 in Clarksville, MD

* photos taken on Feb 8 2015 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* historic archive photo

A vigorous, more upright native of the western U.S. ( northern California to southern Colorado and south, with separate ranges at Fairmont Hot Springs in southeastern British Columbia and another hot springs in southwest South Dakota ), reaching a maximum height of 2.5 feet. It is critically endangered in Canada where it was once locally abundant.
It is hardier, surviving as far north as zone 6 ( even to zones 4 and 5 on protected sites ). Comes true from seed.

* photo taken by Gary Larson @ USDA NRCS. 1992. Western wetland flora

The leaflets have extended finger-like lobes. Otherwise similar.

Dwarf form with foliage that has deeply cut lobed.

Broad triangular fronds have long, triangular leaflets.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

* photo taken on Oct 21 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC

'Michigan Form'
A clone that is sold by Arrowhead Alpines Nursery that is hardy north to zone 5 ( generally this species is not hardy this far north ).
Despite it's exceptional hardiness, it does not look to be a hybrid.

Twisted, very deeply cut leaflets.

Adiantum hispidulum ( Rosy Maidenhair )
A low growing, clumping Fern reaching a maximum size of 2 x 2 feet, that is evergreen in the Deep South and deciduous toward the northern limits of its range. It is native to southern India, eastern Africa and the Pacific Islands.
The foliage is similar to Adiantum pedatum but the pinnae, up to 0.3 inches, are reddish at first, turning to glossy deep green.
Hardy zones 8 to 10

'Mt. Haleakala'
A full zone hardier ( to zone 7 ); this form which was introduced by Plant Delights Nursery in North Carolina is otherwise similar to the species. It was originally found near the peak of Mt. Haleakala in Hawaii.

Adiantum jordanii ( California Maidenhair )
An attractive groundcover Fern, reaching a maximum height of 2 feet, that is native to the western U.S. from southern Oregon to Baja California. It spreads via short creeping rhizomes.
The leaves, up to 24 inches are 3 pinnate.
Hardy zones 7 to 9

Adiantum pedatum ( Northern Maidenhair Fern )
A very decorative, long-lived, fast growing, rhizomatous, deciduous Fern that forms large dense clumps reaching a maximum size of 3 x 5 feet ( rarely reaching over 2.5 feet in height ), that is easy to grow. Deciduous to semi-evergreen depending on climate. The Northern Maidenhair is native over much of North America ( from northern Minnesota to the north shore of Lake Superior to southern Quebec to Nova Scotia; south to Oklahoma to central Georgia ) and also in Kamchatka and Japan. It is found in upland deciduous hardwood forests in the wild. It is found in deciduous or mixed woods in the wild. Now rare in southern Ontario; it was abundant around both Windsor, Ontario and nearby Detroit, Michigan before 1900. It was also abundant on the Ohio shore during that time.
The lacy branching fronds, up to 30 x 10 inches, have fan-shaped leaflets. The glossy bright green foliage turns bright golden-yellow during autumn.
The strong erect stalks are shiny and black.
Hardy zones 2 to 8 in partial to full shade on moist, acidic, well drained soil that is rich in humus. It is easy to grow tolerating both acidic and alkaline soils and even the occasional drought once established. Dividing is not required but can be done during autumn or early spring if necessary for propagation. It can also be grown from spores sown outdoors during early autumn.

* photo taken on annual Horticultural Society of Maryland Garden Tour

* photos taken on June 1 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken on June 1 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 27 2015 in Bayfield, ON

* photo taken on July 16 2016 in Bayfield, ON

* photo taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA

* photo taken on Jul 17 2017 in Ottawa, ON

* photos taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on June 26 2018 in Columbia, MD

* historic archive photo

subsp 'Aleuticum'
Native mostly to western North America ( from Juneau, Alaska to Terrace, British Columbia to Radium Hot Springs, B.C. to Montana; south to California to New Mexico ) and Newfoundland, with fast growing clumps reaching a maximum size of 44 inches x 2.5 feet. In California, it is drought deciduous.
The fronds composed of more triangular leaflets, are pinkish at first, turning to blue-green.
Hardy zones 2 to 7.

Reaches up to 2 feet with drooping fronds.

* historical archive photo

Broader, blue-green, slightly ruffled segments or leaflets.

Smaller growing with cascading, blue-green fronds made up of large, deeply lobed leaflets.
Forms a clump up 8 inches x 2.5 feet.

var. 'Japonicum'
Closely related to subsp 'Aleuticum', reaching up to 16 inches in height, with fronds that are orangish-pink at first, turning to mid-green.

Similar to species except with deeply-cut leaflets.

'Miss Sharples'
Yellow-green fronds.

Adiantum peruvium ( Silver Dollar Fern )
Reaching up to 3 feet in height, this Fern beards fronds with 2 inch leaf segments.
The new fronds are metallic silvery-pink. It is deciduous going dormant in the winter.
Hardy zones 11, this native of Equador, Peru and Bolivia does not tolerate frosts.

Adiantum raddianum
A rhizome spreading groundcover Fern reaching up to 2 x 2 feet.
Hardy zones 9b to 11 in partial to full shade.

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

'Kensington Gem'
Very robust with fronds reaching up to 36 x 4 inches.

Adiantum venustum ( Himalayan Maidenhair )
A beautiful semi-evergreen to evergreen Fern native to the Himalayas, that forms a clump reaching a maximum size of 4 x 3.3 feet. It is slow to establish, but once established will become strong growing and spread to form broad dense colonies. The Himalayan Maidenhair may form a clump up to 40 inches across in 5 years. The Himalayan Maidenhair is an excellent groundcover plant.
The foliage is similar to that of Adiantum capillus-veneris, being composed of leaflets up to 0.3 inches. The fresh new foliage is spring is pink, later turning to deep green. A single frond may have up to 200 tiny leaflets giving this plant the ultimate fine-texture.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 ( protected sites only north of 5 ). The foliage remains evergreen to as low as 15 F.

* photo taken on May 8 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on May 26 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Sep 1 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photo taken on Nov 14 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Sep 21 2017 in Columbia, MD

Adiantum vivesii
A colonial creeping rhizomatous groundcover Fern. The lustrous black-purple stalks up to 1.5 feet in height bear fronds, up to 2.5 feet with broad irrgular blades, up to 11 x 1.5 inches. It is native to the middle elevations of Puerto Rico where it is extremely endangered. Less than 1000 remain in the wild.
Hardy zones 10 to 11

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