Adiantum capillis-veneris (Southern Maidenhair Fern, Venushair Fern)

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)
Deciduous: yes
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
Family: Pteridaceae
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
Rosette: no
Tree Fern: no
Leaves: pinnate, to 1 centimeter long, fan-shaped, oddly lobed, spores below, toothed margins, repel water, light
green, alternate
Rhizome length: tiny (to 4mm), slowly spreading

Notable characteristics:
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.

Sources used:

A. capillus-veneris at the Missouri Botanical Garden
All of the images provided were taken by me. They may be used for educational/informational purposes only, provided that
this article/online journal is appropriately cited first.


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