|Species : Adiantum Capillus - Veneris|
|Family : Adiantaceae|
|Genus : Adiantum|
|Common names :Southern Maidenhair Fern|
Southern Maidenhair is a small, slow-growing evergreen fern found throughout the world. This deciduous (leaf shedding) beautiful and graceful fern reaches 10 to 15 inches tall, growing in stands from its creeping rhizome bearing very-fine textured fan shaped leaves up to 50 cm long. It can be grown as an ornamental plant.
It has clustered fronds (leaves) 10-60cm long which may be erect or spreading. The underground stem is creeping and short, the stalks (rachis) long and slender, dark brown to purplish-black with a smooth, polished appearance. Pinnules (leaflets) are 7-15 mm wide, ovate, slightly asymmetrical with wedge-shape bases and rounded outer edges. They often have deep and irregular finely-toothed lobes. The spores are contained in sporangia which are clustered into sori (clusters of spore-bearing organs).
Southern Maidenhair Fern prefer highly organic soil in full shade to partial shade or partial sun. Requires an abundance of moisture in the air and in the soil. Propagation is carried through spores or division. Spores are best sown as soon as they are ripe, on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Germination should take place within 6 weeks. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep them damp until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old. When planting outside they should be kept a very well sheltered position.
Division can be done in spring or autumn but early spring is the best.
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