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Blechnum

Polypodiaceae
Ferns

Evergreen ferns noted for their symmetrical, formal appearance; some form a small trunk. Plants dislike overhead watering when air is humid or still.

Blechnum brasiliense (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Blechnum brasiliense (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

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Blechnum brasiliense

Native to Brazil and Peru. This dwarf tree fern grows to 4 ft. tall and 5 ft. wide. Nearly erect fronds grow in compact clusters and are reddish when young. ‘Crispum’ has elegantly ruffled fronds.

Blechnum gibbum

Native to Fiji. Dwarf tree fern with 3-ft.-wide crown of fronds atop a slender trunk that eventually reaches 3 ft. high.

Blechnum penna-marina
Blechnum penna-marina

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Blechnum penna-marina

Native to South America. Spreads slowly in cool, moist, sheltered places to make patches of refined-looking, 4–8-in. fronds. Sterile fronds have wider lobes than fertile ones. Needs frost protection in Zones 4–6. Can be used as a houseplant.

Blechnum spicant
Blechnum spicant

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Blechnum spicant

Native primarily to coastal forests of Northern California and Northwest. Glossy deep green fern with two strikingly different kinds of fronds: sterile ones are 1 3/4 in. wide, spreading or angled, 1–3 ft. tall; fertile ones are narrower and stiffly erect, with slender, widely spaced leaflets. Forms a clump to 3 ft. wide.

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