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Adiantum capillus-veneris

(Fern - Southern Maidenhair )

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Hardiness Zones:

Quick Overview:

Southern maidenhair fern is a deciduous, clumping fern with a drooping habit that grows to 12-18” tall and slowly spreads by short creeping rhizomes. It features bipinnate to tripinnate fronds with wiry, black stems that are distinctively arching to pendent. Small pinnae (each to 1/2” long) are fan-shaped, having wedge-shaped bases and irregular lobing at the apex. Sori (spores) appear in summer on the reflexed pinnae undermargins. It is similar in appearance to northern maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum), except among other things its fronds are unforked. Soft delicate finely textured foliage is attractive in woodland areas.


Grow in consistently moist, neutral to alkaline soils in part shade to full shade. Plants in the wild will sprawl from wet limestone rocks. A lacy and delicate looking fern with arching dark stems that carry bright green fan-shaped leaflets. A wonderful addition to a woodland garden or any shady space, where it is easy to grow as long as it receives regular water. This fern thrives in soils that have a generous amount of humus incorporated into the mix and in filtered sunlight. Foliage burns in full sunlight in the Lower South. A great fern for detail shade plantings. Excellent for containers.

Additional Information

Common Name Fern - Southern Maidenhair
Botanical Name Adiantum capillus-veneris
Container/Amount 1 gallon
Plant Category Perennial, Groundcover
Evergreen or Deciduous Evergreen
Hardiness Zone 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
Height 1 to 2'
Width 1 to 2'
Growth Rate Average
Light Requirements Part-shade, Shade
Soil Condition Well-drained
Water Needs Average
Blooming Period No
Flower Color No
Fragrance No
Foliage Color green
Berry Color No
Deer Resistant Yes

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