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Pellaea

Cliff-Brake
Polypodiaceae
Ferns

Though these small- to medium-size ferns are not striking in overall appearance, they have charmingly detailed foliage, with leaves divided into little narrow to roundish leaflets. Once established, they tolerate drier conditions than most other ferns do. All need well-drained soil.

Pellaea andromedifolia

Native to dry, stony places in California, southern Oregon, and Baja California. Grows slowly to 2 ft. high and wide. Thin, wiry stalks hold finely cut gray-green to bluish green fronds. The common name refers to the small leaflets, shaped somewhat like coffee beans. Grow in bright filtered light. Use in native landscapes or rock gardens. Water regularly for the first year; needs little water thereafter.

Pellaea rotundifolia
Pellaea rotundifolia

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Pellaea rotundifolia

From Australia and New Zealand. Grows to 1–2 ft. high and 2 ft. wide. Spreading stalks hold small, evenly spaced, rounded leaflets that are dark green and leathery. Use for contrast with finer-textured ferns or in mixed container plantings where fronds will spill attractively over the sides. Regular water. Pretty houseplant in bright indirect light; tolerates dry indoor air.

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