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Wild Fern Plants, a Forest and Woodland Native


Wild ferns are plants that are as unusual as they are beautiful

They do not produce seeds like other plants. They produce spores and have a more complex reproductive cycle. These spores are usually found on the underside of the leaves in tiny capsules or sporangia. The sporangia, in turn, are arrayed in clusters called sori. They may be found on a separate, fertile frond.

The plants usually have flat leaves on a stalk, and the leaves may be simple or compound. A compound leaf can be divided into one to three subleases. The edges of the leaves of a fern can be toothed, lobed or entire. Some wild ferns have more than one type of leaf. These leaves or fronds unroll from fiddleheads, edible in some wild species.

Grape Ferns

This family of ferns includes the grape fern, the rattlesnake fern, and the moonwort. They get their name because they bear their sporangia in clusters that look like grapes.

The moonwort can grow in dry places, including cliffs and dry meadows. It is somewhat uncommon but is striking for its moon-shaped leaves. It grows to about 6 inches in height.

The grape fern can be found throughout the eastern United States and sometimes in the midwest and southwest. The sterile leaves have a triangular shape and can be three inches long. They have a lacy look. The fertile spike is 6 to 10 inches tall, and the yellow sporangia appear in the autumn. The grape fern is found in woods and open pastures.

The rattlesnake fern can grow to 2 feet tall and is expected in the Northern hemisphere. It has a triangular leaf that’s divided and subdivided into leaflets. The sporangia are found in the spring or early summer and persist for several months.

Polypody Ferns

That is the most prominent family of ferns. The licorice fern has thin, tapered leaves with pointed lobes and gets its name because the root tastes like licorice. The leaves are from 5 to 20 inches long.

Resurrection Fern

This common fern has leaves that curl and turn brown when dry but revive when the plant is watered, which gives it its name. It is an epiphyte and is found on trees and rocks in the tropics through the eastern part of North America. It grows from 1 to 7 inches high.

Common Polypody

This fern grows in damp, cool, shady woods on logs or rocks; The sori are very noticeable on the underside of the leaflets. The fern grows from a rhizome with reddish scales and grows from 6 to 12 inches tall.

Maidenhair Fern

This beautiful fern is known for its finely divided, almost horseshoe-shaped leaves that grow from 4 to 16 inches wide. It is prized as a houseplant. The leaflets vary from fan-shaped to oblong, and the tips of the leaves conceal the sori. The shiny, black leafstalk contrasts with the green of the leaflets. A similar Venus Maidenhair Fern is found in the tropics and warm temperate regions around the world. It grows from 10 to 18 inches tall.

Ferns are beautiful and easy to care for plants that generally don’t need pampering. They add a touch of grace to any room they’re in.



Maidenhair Fern - TN Nursery

Maidenhair Fern

The Maidenhair Fern is a delicate, deciduous plant with finely divided, fan-shaped fronds and distinctive black stems, adding an elegant touch to shaded gardens and moist woodlands. It is an aesthetically pleasing plant that offers a range of benefits when used in landscaping. Its unique characteristics and visual appeal make it famous for outdoor and indoor spaces.  The Maidenhair is prized for its delicate leaves and long lifespan. The scientific name is Adiantum SPP, and it's part of 250 species of these plants, including the Northern, Delta, and Southern Maidenhair ferns. The Greek part of the plant's official name means unwetted, and it gets that name from its ability to shed water without truly getting damp. These plants are native to the Himalayas, East Asia, and the eastern part of North America. Maidenhair Fern Characteristics Adiantum spp are prized for their fan-shaped leaves. They are known to make great houseplants and usually grow between one and two feet tall and the same width. Their stems are wiry black, while the leaves are bright green. Gardeners can expect them to reach their full height in three years, and with proper care, they can live up to 15 years. Best Places to Grow The Fern Adiantum SPP grows well in pots, containers, and terrariums, and it can be replanted as it outgrows its container. In addition to making great container plants, it can be planted in shade gardens and hosta gardens. Benefits of The Fern The Adiantum SPP is known for its air purification qualities. The leaves draw in airborne toxins and are used as nutrients, helping them clean the air wherever they are planted. They also release moisture, which can help combat dry indoor air. When the Adiantum SPP is planted outdoors, it can help stabilize loose soil and provide cover for wildlife, including frogs, lizards, and birds. In fact, birds will sometimes use the dried frons to line their nests. Companion Plants From TN Nursery The Adiantum SPP can be grown with a variety of other flowers and ferns, including the strawberry begonia, coral bells, ginger, woodland geraniums, bloodroot, hostas, hellebores, and pulmonarias. Gardeners can enjoy the calmness of the Adiantum SPP indoors and outdoors. They make great potted plants, and they look wonderful around water features and along hillsides. They can also be combined with many other types of ferns and flowers to create eye-catching garden beds.

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