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Adiantum (add-ee-AN-tum)

Common Name:  Maidenhair fern

Light:  - Part shade to full shade

Soil:  Rich, moist but well-drained and well aerated

Moisture:  Average

Zones:  3 - 8


Adiantum 'Miss Sharples'

Adiantum pedatum

Adiantum Description and Cultural Information

Adiantum pedatum, common maidenhair fern. 24 - 30". Maidenhair ferns are pretty, dainty, and delicate. They have wiry but strong, shiny, purple-brown (near black) petioles and feathery, circular fronds that grow outward in a flat, fan-like position. Plants are slow spreading and non-invasive. Native to the Eastern US. Zones 3 - 8.

Adiantum pedatum var. aleuticum, maidenhair fern. 18 - 24" This subspecies of the common maidenhair fern is more compact than the species plus the new fronds emerge bronzy-pink. 'Miss Sharples' is a variety that has chartreuse leaflets turning darker green which also emerge a very attractive bronzy-yellow creating a multi-color effect throughout the growing season. Zones 3 - 8.

How to Grow:  Maidenhair ferns remain attractive from spring to fall when planted in humus-rich, loose, well-drained soil that is kept moist at all times. Give them a cool site in part to full shade and avoid high wind areas that might damage their fine fronds. Rhizomes should be planted so that the crown is completely buried. They will spread just under the surface from slow creeping rhizomes. Plants can be propagated by dividing the creeping rhizomes in early spring, just before they emerge.

Landscape Uses:  Maidenhair ferns add a delicate touch to the shade garden. Plant them with hostas, astilbes, fringed bleeding hearts, lungworts (Pulmonaria), toad lilies (Tricyrtis), and woodland wildflowers.

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