Adiantum 

(add-ee-an' tum)

Common name: Maidenhair Fern

Family: Adiantaceae, Maidenhair

Height x width: 12-18" x 12-18"

Growth rate: moderate

Fronds: on narrow, polished, reddish-brown wiry stalk at ends; branched into fan-shaped with pinnules (leaflets of pinnate leaf) triangular oblong with irregular shallow lobes

Sori: on the pinnule lobe edges

Hardiness: varies with species

Soil: moist, may grow better in higher pH soils

Light: filtered shade

Pests and Problems: leafspots if excessive humidity and low light

Landscape habit, uses: woodlands, native gardens, edges of shade borders

Other interest: from the Greek adiantos meaning unwetted, refering to impermeable leaves of some species shedding water

Other culture: low maintenance, prevent drying--leaves die if dried out; provide good air circulation to prevent disease

Propagation: spring division, spores

Species:

capillus-veneris (ca-pill' luss ve-near' iss)--Southern Maidenhair, zones 7-10, native to the tropics, often grown as a greenhouse plant

hispidulum (his-pi' du-lum)--Rosy Maidenhair, zones 7-10, native to tropics, rosy spring growth turning dark green, horseshoe-shaped fronds

jordanii (jor-dan' ee-ii)--California Maidenhair, zones 7-10, native to U.S. west coast, pale green young fronds, prefers continuous dampness

pedatum (pe-daa' tum)--Northern Maidenhair, zones 3-8, native to N. America and east Asia, the 8-20 forked pinnate leaf segments are in a horseshoe arrangement from the central stalk

raddianum (raid-dee-aa' num)--Delta Maidenhair, zones 8-10, native to central and So. America, natural habitat is rocky cliffs and neutral to alkaline soils, many cultivars, more seen outside U.S.

tenerum (te-nair' um)--Brittle Maidenhair, zones 7-10, native to tropics where popular and many cultivars

venustum (ve-noose' tum)--Evergreen Maidenhair, zones 9-10, native to Himalayas and Afganistan
 
 

Cultivars:

The following may be found in U.S. commerce, although the species are most common, the Southern and Northern Maidenhairs usually offered for outdoors.
 
Cultivar species fronds, habit, other
var. aleuticum pedatum deeply cut, pendulous, hardy to Alaska
'Bridal Veil' raddianum drooping, segments teardrop-shaped
'Eco Aurora-borealis' pedatum ruffled, overlapping
'Elegans' raddianum lobed, wedge-shaped segments
'Fergusonii' tenerum new growth pink, terminal lobes fused
'Fimbriatum' capillus-veneris segments deeply cut, finger-like lobes
'Imbricatum' capillus-veneris smaller 'Fimbriatum', cascading fronds
'Japonicum' pedatum pinkish-bronze when new
'Micropinnulum' raddianum long weeping fronds, tiny segments
'Miss Sharples' pedatum large chartreuse leaflets
'Montanum' pedatum compact, denser than the species
'Pacific Maid' raddianum large erect frond, overlapping segments, hardy
subsp. subpumilum pedatum dwarf, glaucous, pinnules overlap, Pacific NW
'Variegatum' raddianum upright, segments flecked white
     


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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