Southern maidenhair fern, Common maidenhair fern, Maidenhair fern, Venus hair fern
Pteridaceae (Maidenhair Fern Family)
Marcus, Joseph A.
This plant has specific growing requirements that must be met to be successful in a garden setting. Though it lacks the fan-like pattern of Northern maidenhair, the fine, lacy foliage of Southern maidenhair has the same a graceful, delicate character. This fern
grows from 6 inches to 1 foot in height; its fronds arising in clusters from creeping rhizomes.
Listed as an endangered
species in North Carolina (known as southern maidenhair-fern there) and threatened
in Kentucky (known as venus hair fern
there). Mostly found in the lower half of the U.S.and some parts of the tropics, the only Canadian site is near Fairmont Hot Springs, B.C.
Image Gallery: 23 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Fern Leaf Retention: Evergreen Leaf Venation:
Dichotomous Size Notes:
Height 6-20 inches. Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.
, VA Canada: BC Native Distribution: VA
w. to KY,
& CA; south to South America. Also Eurasia. Native Habitat:
Limestone kept moist by moving water in shade
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium , High
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet , Moist
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist, well-drained sand, loam or limestone. Can occur as an attached mass growing directly on rock outcroppings where moisture is present
Conditions Comments: It prefers moisture year-round. Without watering, it will go dormant by July. Where water and drainage are adequate, the plant makes a lush ground cover. It is often used in crevices of rock walls and well-drained cobbles, especially in cool, north exposures.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Ground cover in the right circumstances, bog edge plant
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: High