Common Maidenhair

Description

Common names

Common Maidenhair, Small Maidenhair Fern, Common Maidenhair Fern, Maidenhair.

Scientific names

Adiantum aethiopicum.

Family

Adiantaceae.

Genus

Adiantum.

Growth rate

Fast.

Growth height

0.2-0.5m.

Presence in Australia

Noted east of the Olympic Highway, mainly in higher rainfall areas.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: Qld, NSW, ACT, Vic, Tas, SA, NT, WA.

Habitat

Damp open situations, sheltered rock crevices, shaded hillsides, flats near creeks. Often along creeks in large colonies.

Habit

Perennial ground fern mostly 20-50cm high. Rhizome-creeping and much-branched with soft, lacy, light-green fronds on black wiry stems.

Site preference

Prefers moist, sheltered position in full shade. Tolerates heavy clay soil. Resents sun and wind.

Characteristics

Fast-growing and easily maintained. May die back in summer and re-shoot in autumn.

Propagation

By division. For in-ground plants, sever the underground runners with a sharp spade and pot each section. For potted plants, tip out and divide by hand, or cut runners off with sharp knife.

Ornamental

Excellent for containers, indoors, rock crevices, groundcover and near ponds. Useful in floral displays and bouquets, and easily cultivated. Apply small amounts of native plant fertiliser to encourage growth.