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Bird’s-nest fern, Wild birdnest fern
Asplenium serratum

Copyright by: George D. Gann

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations.

Ecological Restoration Notes: A rare epiphytic or terrestrial fern in hammocks and swamps. Requires constant moisture and high humidity.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts.

Description: Medium epiphytic or terrestrial herbaceous fern.

Dimensions: About 2-3 feet in height. About as broad as tall.

Growth Rate: Slow.

Range: Miami-Dade County north to Broward and Lee counties; also collected once in Volusia County; West Indies, Central America and South America. Rare in northern Miami-Dade and Broward counties. In Broward County, know only from Fern Forest Nature Center.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Moist to wet hammocks and swamps.

Soils: Epiphytic, or terrestrial in moist, well-drained humusy leaf litter, acid to neutral pH.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate; can grow on nutrient poor substrate, but needs some nutrient inputs 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: It is listed as endangered by the state of Florida.

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Other data on Asplenium serratum available from:

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