Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Southern Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris)
Southern Maidenhair Fern
(ad-ee-AN-tum) (KAP-il-iss VEN-er-iss)
I saw this dainty beauty in the greenhouse at the Bartlett Arboretum on Sunday. I have been growing a little patch of Northern Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum) and that plant looks almost coarse compared to the Southern Maidenhair. A. pedatum isn’t really coarse, it is a beautiful groundcover plant that is easy to grow. I think the Southern type is hardy to USDA Zone 7 so that is why it was growing indoors in Stamford. I love the soft green foliage contrasted with the wiry black stems. This plant has been used medicinally since ancient times. I am going to keep my eye out for this plant if I head down South this winter.
(Synonyms: Venus-hair fern, True Maidenhair, Capillaire commun, Capillaire de Montpellier. Hair of Venus)