Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum pedatum

Maidenhair Fern

Adiantum pedatum

Sun Shade:
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Zones: 3, 4, 5
Soil Conditions: Acid, Loam
Soil Moisture: Medium, Moist
Color: Non-Flowering
Fragrance: No
Height: 1-2.5 feet
Spacing: 12-18 inches


Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum pedatum, is a deciduous, clump-forming, native fern which typically grows 1.5 to 2 feet tall and is most frequently found on rich wooded slopes, ravine bottoms and damp shady woods. Features finely-textured, somewhat frilly fronds which have curved stalks and are palmately-divided (i.e., fronds divide into finger-like projections). Wiry stems are reddish-brown to black. Crosiers (coiled young fiddleheads) emerge pink in spring. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. Small clonal colonies of plants are often produced from the long slender rhizomes.

Habitats include rich deciduous woodlands, rocky wooded slopes, and shaded ravines where limestone or sandstone is close to the ground surface. This fern is found in higher quality woodlands where the original ground flora is largely intact.

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Prefers moist, humusy, acidic soils in full shade. Spreads slowly by creeping, branching rhizomes to form large colonies over time.

Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  High summer heat may cause fronds to brown by mid to late summer, particularly if good soil moisture is not maintained and/or plants are grown in too much sun.
  Plant crowns no more than 1-2 inches deep, planting too deep is often fatal.
Further Information

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