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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Adiantum (Maidenhair Fern)

Common Name : Maidenhair Fern

Scientific Classification

Kingdom Plantae

Division Pteridophyta

Class Pteridopsida

Order Pteridales

Family Adiantaceae

Genus Adiantum

Maidenhair ferns
are ferns of the genus Adiantum, which contains about 200 species. It is the a member of the family Pteridaceae, though some researchers place it in its own family, Adiantaceae. The genus name comes from the Greek, meaning "not wetting", referring to the fronds' ability to shed water without becoming wet.

Maidenhair ferns are distinctive in appearance, with dark, often black stipes and rachises, and bright green, often delicately-cut leaf tissue. The sori are borne submarginally, and are covered by reflexed flaps of leaf tissue which resemble indusia. Dimorphism between sterile and fertile fronds is generally subtle.

Picture showing Adiantum capillus-veneris (Maidenhair Fern; Venushair Fern) growing on On rock walls at Dripping Springs, Grand Canyon National Park.

Maidenhair ferns generally prefer humus-rich, moist, well-drained sites, ranging from bottomland soils to vertical rock walls. Many species are especially known for growing on rock walls around waterfalls and water seepage areas.

Adiantum pedatum

Two species are commonly native to the eastern United States, with one of these common to western Europe. The Five-finger fern (Adiantum pedatum) is a distinctively American species, with a highly distinctive frond form and a bifurcating frond that radiates pinnae on one side only. It grows from sub-arctic North America into the deep south of the U.S.

The other American species, which also grows in Europe, is the Venus-hair fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris). This fern is strictly a southern species in the U.S., and in Europe is confined to the mild, humid Atlantic fringes, including the west of the British Isles.

Adiantum capillus-veneris L.

Many species are grown in the horticultural trade, including both of the species mentioned, as well as a number of tropical species, including A. raddianum and A. peruvianum. List of Various Species of Adiantum


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