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Adiantum pedatum

Maidenhair Fern

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Dainty bright green fronds are held aloft on shiny black stems creating a light, airy texture in the woodland garden. In rich soil and bright shade it will spread by shallow rhizomes to form a dense groundcover. Found in the humus-rich woodlands and moist woods of Eastern North America. Easy to grow as long as the soil is loose and rich.

Benefits

Perfect for deep shade and moist soils
Spreads slowly to create a lush groundcover
Easy care and low maintenance once established
Perfect accent for rock walls and shady water features
Provides outstanding cover for small animals and birds

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Grow Maidenhair Fern in part or full shade and acidic to neutral, moist, well-drained soils. It does not tolerate clay. Happiest in shade, but it can take more sun in northern zones and with adequate moisture. Spreads by shallow rhizomes. Adiantum pedatum goes dormant in periods of drought, but will return the following spring.


Height
12-18 Inches

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Spread
12-18 Inches

USDA Hardiness Zone 3-8

Native Range

Found in moist woodlands and along streams, Maidenhair fern is native to most states east of the Rockies. Distribution Map

Native Trivia

Maidenhair Fern was believed to have numerous medicinal qualities utilized by several Native American tribes, from a cough medicine to a rinse for shiny hair. Certain tribes used the stems for designs in basketry and packaging for travel. Smoky Mountain folklore says if a maiden handles a stem and the leaves don't flicker, her virtue is assured.


"Maidenhair Ferns provide shelter for toads, salamanders, newts and other small amphibians."

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
Low Perennials
Exposure
Filtered Shade
Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
Shade
Soil
Acidic
Humus-rich
Well-drained
Soil Moisture Preference
Moist
Moist but well-drained
Attracts Wildlife
Amphibians
Mammals
Reptiles
Songbirds
Habitat Collection
Songbird
Native Habitat
Forest
Foliage Color
Dark Green
Green
Uses
Border
Container
Erosion control
Ground cover
Mass plant
Naturalizes
Native to
Alabama
Arkansas
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Nebraska
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin