Davallia 

(dah-val' lee-ah)

Common name: Foot Ferns

Family: Davalliaceae, Foot Fern

Height x width: 8-12" x 1-3'

Growth rate: moderate

Fronds: fine, compound, broad 3 or 4-pinnate, triangular, often shiny, deciduous in some species

Sori: marginal, tubular to urn-shaped

Light: bright filtered to moderate

Temperature: cool to warm

Watering: moderate

Fertility: moderate

Humidity: humid

Soil: epithytic mix such as sphagnum moss, peat moss, bark, or combination

Pests and Problems: gray mold, rhizome rot (if too wet), foliar nematodes, scales; browning leaves and leaf margins from low humidity, too little water

Growth habit, uses: hanging or creeping, they prefer to creep over and cling to sides of pots or hanging baskets

Other interest: native to various tropical areas near streams and on rocks; named for 18th century Swiss botanist E. Davall; noted and grown largely for its creeping surface rhizomes, densely covered with brown scales and sometimes hairs, overall resembling various animal feet

Other culture: mostly epiphytic so humidity is important; don't use soil or cover rhizomes--allow to grow on the surface; place indoors where humidity is high or it can be misted and watered (allowing to drain) frequently

Propagation: division, spores

Species:

• canariensis (ca-nair-ee-en' siss)--Deer's Foot Fern, Hare's Foot Fern; deciduous or semi-evergreen, native to the western Mediterranean, narrow triangular frond segments

• fejeensis (fee-gee-en' siss)--Rabbit's Foot Fern, evergreen, native to Fiji, rhizomes covered with long, soft curly hairs, linear frond segments, most common species in commerce

• mariesii (mar-ee' see-ii)--Squirrel's Foot Fern, deciduous, native to eastern Asia, narrow triangular frond segments

• solida (so-li-dah')--Polynesian Foot Fern, evergreen, native to Malaysia and Polynesia, triangular leathery frond segments

• trichomanoides (trii-co-ma-noy' dees)--Squirrel's Foot Fern, deciduous or semi-evergreen, native to Malaysia, Sri Lanka and northern India, diamond- to arrow-shaped frond segments

Cultivars:

'Dwarf Ripple'--fejeensis, dwarf 8-16" tall, finely cut

'Major'--fejeensis, large fronds 2-4' long

'Ornata'--solida, wide frond segments

'Plumosa'--fejeensis, slender feathery fronds

'Ruffled Ornata'--solida, wide irregular and curled frond segments


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

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