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Pellaea mucronata

Pellaea mucronata (D.C. Eaton) D.C. Eaton

Bird-foot Cliffbrake, Birdfoot Cliffbrake, Birdsfoot Fern

Pteridaceae (Maidenhair Fern Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Mature clumps bear fronds to 12 in. The stipes are tough and wiry and the fronds are very finely divided, each segment ending in a sharp point. Fronds are pale- to bluish-green but age to purplish or coffee brown.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.


Native Distribution: Cismontane CA
Native Habitat: Dry, stony places below 6000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Difficult to establish and needs summer water the first year. After that they increase in size and vigor and are drought tolerant. Birsfoot fern is even tougher and more drought tolerant than coffee fern.


Description: Increase by spores.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX

Additional resources

USDA: Find Pellaea mucronata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Pellaea mucronata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Pellaea mucronata


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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