THELYPTERIS

FAMILY: Thelypteridaceae

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

Plant Details

Among the easier ferns to grow. Deciduous in most areas, they thrive in moist, organic soil but will tolerate some drought if soil is rich. They take more sun than most ferns, provided moisture is plentiful. Effective in masses or combined with plants having coarser leaves. All spread by rhizomes to form colonies.

T. hexagonoptera (Phegopteris hexagonoptera). BROAD BEECH FERN. Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. From eastern North America. Medium green, triangular fronds to 1122 ft. long and wide. Fronds are once divided, each division deeply toothed.

T. kunthii. SOUTHERN SHIELD FERN, WOOD FERN. Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9. Native from the southeastern U.S. to South America; an old-time Southern favorite. Triangular fronds to 3 ft. (sometimes 5 ft.) long, with leaflets widely spaced along the stem; the light green color contrasts well with dark greenfoliaged plants. Spreads quickly to form a tall, soft, pretty mass. Takes poor soils and moderate sun. Brown winter fronds are quite attractive, but cut them back before new spring growth begins.

T. noveboracensis (Parathelypteris novae-boracensis). NEW YORK FERN. Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. Native from Newfoundland to Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. Pale green, 1- to 2-ft.-long fronds are once divided, with the segments deeply lobed. A vigorous colonizer, it can be used as a ground cover in shadeor even in full sun if kept moist.

T. palustris. MARSH FERN. Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. From Europe, Asia. The bluish green fronds, which occur singly or in tufts, are of two kinds: sterile and fertile. Sterile fronds are 624 in. long and half as wide, tapered at both ends, once divided, with segments deeply lobed. Fertile fronds are 13 ft. long, sturdier and stiffer than the sterile ones. Spreads rapidly.

T. torresiana (Macrothelypteris torresiana). MARIANA MAIDEN FERN. Zones MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 7-11. Native to tropical and subtropical Africa and Asia; has naturalized in much of the South. Light green, arching, triangular fronds to 312 ft. long are thrice divided, for a lacy, delicate look. 'Eco Maiden Lace' is a vigorous, cold-hardy selection that can reach 5 ft. tall.

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