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Brittle maidenhair
Adiantum tenerum
Pteridaceae


General 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:

Limited to exposed moist limestone in rockland hammocks with constantly high humidity. The lowered water table in Miami-Dade County makes this a difficult species to incorporate into restoration projects.
Availability:
Grown by enthusiasts.
Description:
Medium herbaceous fern with delicate leaflets (pinnae).
Dimensions:
About 12-18 inches in height. About as broad as tall.
Growth Rate:
Moderate.
Range:
Miami-Dade County; disjunct in central and northern peninsular Florida; West Indies, Central America and Venezuela.
Habitats:
On moist limestone in rockland hammocks.
Soils:
Moist limestone rock, with or without an accumulation of humusy material.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.
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:
All year.
Fruit:
Inconspicuous spores.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from spores.
Comments:
In the right situations, this rock-loving fern will recruit readily in the garden. It is listed as endangered by the state of Florida.


 


Keith Bradley
Keith Bradley
George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011
George D. Gann
in habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida, 2005
Keith Bradley
Keith Bradley