Natives For Your Neighborhood is a labor of love and commitment. If you use this website, help us maintain and grow it with your tax-deductible donation.


Please scroll to the bottom for more images.
Shoestring fern
Vittaria lineata

Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2012
In habitat, Palm Beach County, Florida

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

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts.

Description: Epiphytic herbaceous fern. Leaves dark green.

Dimensions: Pendent, with fronds 6-18 inches long or more.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Monroe County Keys north to southern Georgia; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America. In the Monroe County Keys, apparently limited to North Key Largo.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Moist forests and swamps.

Soils: Epiphytic; almost always on Sabal palmetto in areas of high humidity.

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 to moderate shade.

Flower Color: N/A.

Flower Characteristics: There are no flowers; the plants reproduce by spores.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Inconspicuous spores.

Comments: See a 2018 post on the Treasure Coast Natives blog on Shoestring fern's relationship with the moss Octoblepharum albidum.

Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2012
In habitat, Palm Beach County, Florida

Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2018
In habitat, Ned Glenn Nature Preserve, Florida

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Vittaria lineata available from:

Resources Links:
Find Native Plants!

Acknowledgements and past sponsors

Become a sponsor!

Major Sponsor:

Emergent Sponsors:

Canopy Sponsors:
Herbaceous Sponsors:

Florida Native Plant Nursery