Venusí-hair fern, Southern maidenhair, Common maidenhair
Adiantum capillus-veneris
Pteridaceae


Landscape Uses:

A delicate accent fern on exposed moist limestone in rock gardens and on the banks of water features such as natural pools.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

In South Florida, this is not known as a natural component of the landscape and is not an appropriate component of ecological restoration projects. In north-central Florida and the Panhandle, this is an uncommon to rare element but may be appropriate for some projects.
Availability:
Widely cultivated, but most often as an indoor plant or hanging basket.
Description:
Medium herbaceous fern with delicate leaflets (pinnae).
Height:
The leaves are typically about 12-18 inches long, but they are most often pendent, or somewhat pendent. About as broad as long.
Growth Rate:
Moderate.
Range:
Widespread in North America south to South Florida, where the historic distribution is unclear; West Indies, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Old World in both temperate and tropical regions.
Habitats:
Moist limestone. In the Florida Panhandle and part of north-central Florida, it grows naturally on moist walls of limestone sinkholes, and on limestone along rivers and on bluffs.
Soils:
Moist limestone rock, with or without an accumulation of humusy material.
Nutritional Requirements:
Low; it grows on nutrient poor substrate.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.
Drought Tolerance:
Low; requires moist substrate and high humidity and is intolerant of long periods of drought.
Light Requirements:
Light shade.
Flower Color:
N/A.
Flower Characteristics:
There are no flowers; the plants reproduce by spores.
Flowering Season:
Probably spring-fall in most of Florida and all year in South Florida.
Fruit:
Inconspicuous spores.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from spores or divisions.
Comments:
In the right situations, this rock-loving fern will recruit readily in the garden.


Shirley Denton