ASPLENIUM

FAMILY: Aspleniaceae

TYPE
  • Vines / Ground Covers
  • Ferns
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
  • Full Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
  • Ample Water

Plant Details

Widespread and variable group of rhizomatous ferns, once called spleenwort for their alleged medicinal value. These evergreen species resemble one another only in botanical details and in their need for shade and liberal watering. Unlike many other ferns, they need a rest period from late fall to early spring when grown indoors; during that time, reduce watering and withhold fertilizer. Indoor plants like bright filtered light; a spot in an east-facing window is ideal. Outdoors, they prefer gritty, well-drained soil.

mother fern

asplenium bulbiferum

  • Zone TS; USDA 10-11; or indoors.
  • From New Zealand.
  • Evergreen or semievergreen.
  • To 4 feet tall and wide.
  • Graceful, very finely cut, light green fronds produce plantlets that can be removed and planted.
  • Hardy to 26F.
  • Watch for snails and slugs.

scott's spleenwort, dragon tail fern

asplenium x ebenoides

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Hybrid of Asplenium platyneuron and Asplenium rhizophyllum.
  • Small evergreen fern of variable appearance, with deeply indented fronds to 612 inches long.
  • Good in rock garden.

bird's nest fern

asplenium nidus

  • Zone TS; USDA 10-11; or indoors.
  • Evergreen native of Old World tropics.
  • Striking foliage: showy, apple green, undivided fronds 4 feet long by 8 inches wide, growing upright in a cluster to about 3 feet wide.
  • Tender; if grown in pots, keep indoors in winter, move to shady patio in summer.

ebony spleenwort

asplenium platyneuron

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to eastern U.S. Evergreen; 112 feet tall and about as wide.
  • Erect, once- divided, dark green fronds have glossy, blackish brown midribs.

walking fern

asplenium rhizophyllum (Camptosorus rhizophyllus)

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to North America; semievergreen to evergreen.
  • An oddity with 5- to 10 inches-long, undivided fronds that taper to the tips; where they touch soil, tips take root and produce new plantlets.
  • Spreads indefinitely.
  • Needs some lime in the soil.

hart's tongue fern

asplenium scolopendrium (Phyllitis scolopendrium)

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to Europe (rare native in eastern U.S.).
  • Strap-shaped, evergreen, 9- to 18 inches-long fronds form a clump about 2 feet wide.
  • Dwarf, crested, puckered, and forked kinds are collector's items.
  • Plant in soil rich in humus; add limestone chips if soil is acid.
  • Good woodland plant, fine companion for rhododendrons and azaleas; also makes an excellent potted plant.

maidenhair spleenwort

asplenium trichomanes

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to much of the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Delicate evergreen fern with narrow, bright green fronds, 48 inches long; forms a clump to 8 inches wide.
  • Leaflets are only 12 inches long, round or nearly so.
  • Likes lime.
  • Attractive in shady rock garden or on a wall where it can be seen close up.

Search by Plant Name

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Experience our exclusive vacation collection.