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

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.
Widely cultivated, but most often as an indoor plant or hanging basket.
Medium herbaceous fern with delicate leaflets (pinnae).
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
Inconspicuous spores.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from spores or divisions.
In the right situations, this rock-loving fern will recruit readily in the garden.

Shirley Denton