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What type of Maidenhair Fern is this?

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  • What type of Maidenhair Fern is this?

    Hello! I have recently fallen for a maidenhair fern plant that a friend has growing indoors in a small pot. It is not in the greatest shape, and I suspect why that is what makes its identification so difficult for me. After looking into the matter, I have a few ideas for the specific type of maidenhair this could be. I narrow it down to the Adiantum capillus-veneris/Southern Maidenhair, the Adiantum raddianum/Delta Maidenhair, the Bermuda Maidenhair and a variation of the Delta Maidenhair: Adiantum raddianum 'Gracillimum'. As you can see, I am a little lost based on internet photos alone, as the nurseries in my locale do not have ferns at this time in the season. The distinguishing characteristics of my friend's fern are very, very tiny leaves, dark stems, hunter green leaf color and a soft, triangular shape to the leaf bunches. These bunches are erect and almost lay on a flat plane if you were to look at the leaves from a level angle. Take a look at the photos, and let me know your best guesses!

    Thanks so much-

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    Last edited by NeetsyPi; 11-10-2011, 10:17 AM.

  • #2
    What maidenhair?

    Hey NeetsyPi. Ken here in the Chicago area. Welcome to the forum.
    What I think you have is Adiantum pedatum(Eastern Maidenhair).
    This one has the black shiny stems. I hope this helps. Take care.


    • #3
      Thank you for the suggestion Ken; I think that the leaves on the Eastern Maidenhair are too elongated, the ones on my friend's plant seem to be circular. I'll keep hunting it down!


      • #4
        Ferns from images are a nightmare to id.
        I would just say that the most common one to be sold for houseplants here in Britain is Adiantum raddianum.
        It has the black rachis (stem)

        Be very careful on www when you look at images for Adiantum. Many are probably mis labelled.

        The correct latin name is really not important. Just enjoy it.
        Ours seed around into the pots of other houseplants. I love it.
        Tricky to grow well it likes a humid place. Never in direct sun light. Shady but light. Bathrooms are perfect!

        Maidenhair Fern House Plants - Adiantum raddianum


        • #5
          Thanks SS...I had it narrowed down to Adiantum raddianum and Adiantum capillis-veneris...I still can't quite tell the difference. As you said, web photos make a positive ID nearly impossible. I suspect that my friend's fern is both underdeveloped as well as bred to have particularly small leaves. Perhaps I'll try to collect spores from hers, as I can't find a plant nursery that carries any Maidenhair varieties in my region. I live in the Lake Tahoe/Reno area, and our winters are quite cold. It is such a beautiful, simple plant, can't wait to track it down! Thanks for the suggestion to keep it in a bathroom, that would help with the humidity these guys seem to like. Thanks for the advice-