Small and slow-growing, the Southern Maidenhair Fern is a perennial fern with very small foliage. These eventually divide
by creeping rhizomes and spores.
Adiantum capillus-veneris (Southern Maidenhair Fern, Venushair Fern)
Hardiness Zones: 6-11 (not reliably hardy in zone 5)
Height: 22-45 centimeters (9-18 inches) tall
Diameter: 22-45 centimeters (9-18 inches) across
Growth Rate: slow
Age: perennial, 5 years and more
Root System: fibrous with creeping rhizomes
Subspecies: ‘Fimbriatum’, ‘Mairisii’
Tolerates: moist/wet soils, dense shade
Problems (major): dieback in dry soil, sunscald in direct sunlight
Problems (minor): none
Poisonous: Some ferns contain carcinogens and ailment-causing enzymes (which can be denatured through heat/drying).
Soil requirements: requires neutral or slightly alkaline, consistently moist, well-drained soils; survives in light/sandy,
medium/loamy, heavy/clay soils
Air requirements: prefers high humidity, keep consistently moist
Watering requirement: moderate
Sun requirement: part-shade to full shade
Fiddleheads present: no
Compound fronds: no, forked, thin black stems, arching, no hairs
Tree Fern: no
Leaves: pinnate, to 1 centimeter long, fan-shaped, oddly lobed, spores below, toothed margins, repel water, light
Rhizome length: tiny (to 4mm), slowly spreading
The foliage is either bipinnate or tripinnate. Thin black stems hold up the alternate leaves.
These have been used historically to create herbal teas to reduce illness.
A. capillus-veneris at the Missouri Botanical Garden
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