Crytomium caryotideum

roosp3(midMOz6)April 2, 2005

Gerbes, a part of the Dillons/Kroger grocery chain, sells plants every spring. This year we saw something that didn't look like a fern but was marked by the Latin name at the head of the posting and the common name "Fishtail Holly Fern". Found nothing on either name in the Hortiplex data base. Found only nursery listings in a search. Apparently it grows zones 6 - 9. But no good horticultural information. Erika searched and came up with only 2 matches, one in Korean and one in Japanese! (It is apparently native to SE Asia.) The label also says that it comes from Henry's Plant Farm aka Pacific Plant Farm Inc. in Snohomish WA. Does anyone have anything helpful to say? The climates of Snohomish and mid-MO could hardly be more different; but: Will it grow here?

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There seems to be a dearth of information about this fern. In addition to SE Asia nativity, it is also native to Hawaii and Louisiana and the common name used by the USDA is: Dwarf Netvein Holly Fern. Judith Jones(Fancyfronds,com) recommends growing in full shade or partial shade(early morning or late afternoon sun only), evenly moist and neutral to alkaline soil, which, for those of us with clay based soil, means the addition of lime when planting and annually thereafter. I usually mix pulverized concrete with the planting soil for Holly ferns(Cyrtomium), but also have them growing in peat-based, somewhat acidic soil in pots and garden.
BTW, I just purchased several of these from Deep Roots Nursery.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2005 at 10:04PM
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Slight correction: Cyrtomium caryotideum is native to Hawaii, but any plants growing wild in Louisiana (according to the Flora of North America it is not known to be established in the wild anywhere in the continental US) are escapes from cultivation.

In general, I'd be surprised to see any Cyrtomium do well outdoors in Missouri, but who knows...

Patrick Alexander

    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 3:34PM
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