What is your favorite fern and why?

AdamM321(MA z5/6)February 3, 2005


Thought some of you might enjoy telling me about what your favorite fern is. I only have two in my yard. A sensitive fern, and an unidentified fern that I planted about 10 years ago and forget what it is. I thought I might expand my horizons.



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deeproots(8b South Ga)

Geez, nearly any Adiantum tenerum or raddianum...
fav cultivars are 'gracillimum, 'fritz luthii, and of course 'Farleyense. finally got some numbers of farleyense (bout 200 of em) so should have a good 8inch basket crop next year, that'll be good for a few glam shots.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2005 at 7:01PM
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I have little experience with ferns, though my appreciation of them is growing. I often tell myself I better start liking them more given that my yard is predominantly shaded and the deer eat everything on my 1-acre parcel save the chalk my children leave on the driveway! More to your question: I planted a few Japanese painted ferns which grow fuller -- and prettier each year. Also, I dream of planting a thick flock of Maidenhair ferns beneath a cluster of cedar trees, as I once saw pictured in a magazine. One fern at a time...!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2005 at 11:02PM
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wayner2000(5b Ontario)

Hi, my favourite fern is the Japanese painted fern. It is my favourite because of it's unique colouring.....I love ferns of all varieties. Wayne

    Bookmark   February 4, 2005 at 3:42PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

Adam, We are close in zone and what has worked good for me and I liked them are...

Autumn Fern (Dryopteris erythrosora)- I went for a walk today and it is standing tall and green after being buried in snow for 6 weeks.

Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)- Stays green all winter makes a nice dark green clump.

Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum')- Last to rise in spring but worth the wait. Beutiful color.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2005 at 12:06AM
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My two favourites are the Squirrel-foot fern (Davallia trichomanoides) on my windowsill and the Blechnum penna-marina which grows between the paving slabs in my garden. They have both survived where many others haven't!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2005 at 4:55PM
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autumnmoon(6a/se ks)

Goldies fern, very tall and stately. Anything evergreen (green in the garden in winter is a wonderful thing) a few would be marginal wood ferns, log ferns, ebony spleenworts, harts tongue fern.

My favorite favorite fern is Western sword fern, Huge and evergreen. Next absolute favorite is maidenhair.. Of which I planted about 100 last year! :D



    Bookmark   February 7, 2005 at 11:28PM
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My favorite fern is maidenhair fern. I started with one clump, and have now transplanted the fern in several other beds. I plant it in shady spots and in pots. They seem to take a while to multiply, but after time passes by, wow, I notice a full bed of fern! My potted ferns have to be protected in case of freeze.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2005 at 11:58AM
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mokikat(z9 FL)

My favorite fern is Nephrolepis exaltata 'Petticoat'. I
have several pots of it.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2005 at 4:46PM
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I love lots of kinds of Ferns but my favorites are MaidenHair Ferns. I also love stags, Davallias and Nephrolepsis varieties. Here is a link to my gallery of Ferns. My Ferns

When I have the time, I am going to take pictures of individual fronds so that I can, hopefully, have them identified. Deep Roots grows a lot of interesting Ferns. When I get my Ferns identified, I would like to order some from DR.
Deep Roots

    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 8:03PM
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deeproots(8b South Ga)

yeah, really get those adiantum identified already... that way we can swap... I picked up a few neat Nephrolepsis this year

    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 11:57PM
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That's a hard question! Elaphoglossum peltatum is one of my favorites because it's cute and unusual. My very favorites some of the time are my Leconopteris (I'll pick L. curtisii, because the fronds look good all winter). I like plants with unusual adaptations, and myrmecophytes certainly fill the bill!
While I love woodland ferns, our winters are long and cold, so my first picks are things that look interesting all year 'round.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2005 at 7:42PM
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waplummer(Z5 NY)

I never met a fern I didn't like!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2005 at 3:05PM
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Ooojen--do you grow Elaphoglossum peltatum? They're cool little plants. I've got some (old) spore, but haven't tried sowing it yet. Any thoughts regarding cultivation?

Patrick Alexander

    Bookmark   March 6, 2005 at 1:13PM
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CanadianCeedub(6a Pickering ON)

I started collecting ferns last summer, after hving success with a rabbit's foot (squirrel's foot?). While it remains my favourite, I have a button fern and a kangaroo fern that run a very close second. The latter two I love because they grow robustly for me, and have vibrantly coloured leaves.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 1:45PM
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Cheechnchong(z8 TX)

I'm partial to all Staghorn fern varieties. They're just too cool to look at, especially mounted.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 12:55AM
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phudnall(z9 TX)

Goniophlebium subauriculatum knightii or Knight's polypody for this nerd looks great. Also Microsorium whiteheadii looks so unlike a fern it's also cool. It kinda looks like a light green tongue, being succulent and all.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 12:50PM
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client_m(z5A IL)

I like the Nephrolepis exaltata 'Fluffy Ruffles' fern. It has a compact habit and can be grown in small pots placed indoors. They really soften up an interior room nicely.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 6:04PM
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Osmumda Claytoniana (the "Interrupted" fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea
Osmunda regalis

All three grow in natural abundance on our property. I am perpetually amazed at their hardiness, mature stature, and lovely character from just about now (they're cracking the earth now) until late fall. Absolutely magnificent with NO work, whatso ever! Perfect in every way.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 6:34PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Mine woiuld probably be an adiantum, or some other fern with black stems contrasting with the green. But I've not had a lkot of experience with ferns.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 9:40AM
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Long eared holly fern. Its evergreen, has great substance and shape to the overall plant and I like the leaflets. It can be hard to find and you'd have to check hardiness for your area. Love it.

Used to be Autumn fern since I enjoy the way the fronds come out with the warm brown/rusty color. Still high on my list. I like alot of ferns tho....

Do love the maiden ferns but I find them difficult to keep alive - so of course I lust after them knowing I don't grow them well.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 11:14AM
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ostrich plume...it can grow without full shade

    Bookmark   May 13, 2005 at 12:00PM
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My favorites have to be my Staghorn's which are mounted.
Another favorite that's not most folks favorite is a huge Asparagus Fern in a big hanging basket I've had for years, just gets prettier every year.
Don't have any MaidenHair but would love to get some started.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 7:56PM
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knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

Missy your ferns are AMAZING!!!!! What are earth are you feeding them? They are all so LUSH and HUGE.

My faves are:

Ostrich (for it's height and motion in the breeze)
Maidenhair (for it's delicate appearance and contrasting stems)
Japanese Painted for it's unusual colour
Hart's Tongue (for it's strange appearance)
Holly (for it's almost lime green colour and thick pinnae)
Sensitive (just because it grows here naturally and I like it's red stems esp in spring when they are really bright red)

Ontario, CANADA

    Bookmark   May 27, 2005 at 3:14PM
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stephenpope2000uk(Brighton, UK)

The sheer impossibility of home cultivation is what attracts me to my favourite fern varieties. I love cloud forest ferns most of all - think 'tropical rainforest' but at much higher altitude. Maybe up to 4000 metres above sea level - practically a mountain top, but still recognisably 'tropical'. Swathed in mist all the time - so permanently humid - the intense equatorial light filtered by the vapour clouds and with very cool night time temperature drops, cloud forests are the perfect environment for tens of thousands of orchid species and many, many ferns. Almost impossible to replicate for us - perhaps a well designed terrarium can just about give you the edge, but the ventilation and the temperature drop are still fiendishly difficult to simulate realistically. Mount Kinabalu, in northern Borneo, has to be the last word in this kind of pristine tropical cloud forest habitat - and it's home to the spidery Cibotium arachnoideum tree fern. That's my dream fern, my fantasy.

A HUGE Cibotium arachnoideum fern, dripping with morning dew. Dream on...

Steve - Brighton, Sussex Coast, UK

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 1:31PM
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RobbyEm(Central England)

Meanwhile back to the reality of 70 metres A.S.L. or thereabouts, I find Polystichums are attractive, evergreen and do pretty well in the East Mids. The best one I guess would be P. setiferum 'Plumosum-multilobum' (the name rolls off the tongue as easily as treacle).

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 4:13PM
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RobbyEm(Central England)

Aaron / UK.

What's the trick in growing Blechnum penna-marina? I've tried it inside & outside pots and it just sort of hangs on for a bit and fades away. Damp, acid soil? How much shade?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 5:24AM
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