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Southern shield fern
Thelypteris kunthii
Thelypteridaceae
 

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

General Landscape Uses: Accent groundcover in shady areas.

Availability: Native plant nurseries.

Description: Medium herbaceous fern.

Dimensions: Typically 1-3 feet in height. About as broad as tall.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Southeastern United States west to Texas and south to the Monroe County Keys; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Rare in the Monroe County Keys and either very rare or absent in the middle Keys.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: A wide variety of forested ecosystems.

Soils: Wet to moist, well-drained sandy, limestone, or organic soils, with humusy top layer; rarely on peat on tree islands in the Everglades.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

Drought Tolerance: Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.

Light Requirements: Light shade to full sun.

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. Small plants are easily transplanted.


Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: George D. Gann


Other data on Thelypteris kunthii available from:



 
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