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Virginia chain fern
Woodwardia virginica

Copyright by: Bruce Holst

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also an accent groundcover in shady, wet areas.

Availability: Grown by a few native plant nurseries in central and northern Florida.

Description: Medium to large herbaceous fern.

Dimensions: Typically 2-4 feet in height. Spreading from underground stems (rhizomes) and forming patches.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Eastern and central United States west to Texas and south to Miami-Dade and Collier counties.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Swamps, marshes and wet hammocks.

Soils: Seasonally wet to moist, moderately well-drained to poorly-drained organic soils.

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 to wet soils 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: Summer-fall.

Fruit: Inconspicuous spores.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from division, and from spores with difficulty.

Copyright by: Bruce Holst

Copyright by: Susan Trammell

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Woodwardia virginica available from:

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