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Adiantum pedatum (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Adiantum pedatum (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

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Zone
Zones A3, 1-7, 14-17, 36-40
Partial SunNo Sun
Partial, Shade
Ample Water
Ample

Adiantum pedatum

American Maidenhair Fern, Five-Finger Fern
Polypodiaceae
Ferns

ADIANTUM

Most are of tropical origin; some are western natives. All form spreading clumps over time. Stems are thin, wiry, and dark. Fronds are finely cut; leaflets are mostly fan shaped, bright green, thin textured. Plants need steady moisture and soil rich in organic matter. Protect from snails and slugs. Most maidenhair ferns die back to some extent in winter. Kinds listed as indoor or greenhouse plants may succeed in sheltered outdoor spots in mild-winter areas.

Adiantum pedatum

From eastern North America, this is closely related to A. aleuticum, with similar fronds and shiny black stems. This delicate-looking fern often grows out of rock in the mist of waterfalls. Fronds grow 12–24 in., cluster on clumping rhizomes. It is very cold-hardy and spreads nicely beneath deciduous trees.

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