Where to find Harts tongue fern in Pa or online?

poaky1May 6, 2012

I'm having a hard time finding Harts tongue fern. I have seen it listed on many UK sites but I don't know about sending plants overseas, it's not allowed with certain plants. Big dipper farms is sold out. Forest farm charges $48.00 shipping from Oregon to Pa. Are there any other ferns with the solid strap leaves like Hart's tongue fern? I am in zone 6 so the birds nest fern is not an option for outside in the ground here. Thanks to anyone who replies.

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Hi poakv1

It seems that nobody replies.
I believe that you call hart tongue fern the Asplenium scolopendrium. It is a fern too common in my area so it is not proposed by gardener.
Along the rivers there are some specimens very spectacular but they are protected, however I have some of this ferns in the garden were born spontaneously.

Unfortunately i'm living in Italy and it's impossible send plants in the USA.
If you want to try to sow the spores it is easy to send them in an envelope and in a few weeks I think that the spores are ripe.
If you are interested you can contact me on my page.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 5:59PM
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I sent you an Email Baobab. I will take you up on your offer. Do you have a high calcium soil? I was wondering if I should supply extra calcium to the planting area. My soil is not high in calcium and I've read that these ferns like lots of calcium.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 10:48PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Poaky, unless you've grown ferns from spores before (and I have no idea) this is not the way to obtain a highly sought after variety.

The website I reference below appears to still be little known; sometimes I selfishly think that's a good thing! They list a few East Coast sources but are not, of course, updated with recent availability. In theory, every listing is either mail order or wholesale.

Earthly Pursuits, Inc. Windsor Mill MD USA Web Site
Fern Factory Anaheim CA USA Web Site
Forestfarm Williams OR USA Web Site
Fraser's Thimble Farms Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 1A3
Canada Web Site
Glasshouse Works Stewart OH USA Web Site
Gossler Farms Nursery Springfield OR USA Web Site
Mason Hollow Nursery Mason NH USA Web Site
Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery Talent OR USA Web Site
Well-Sweep Herb Farm Port Murray NJ USA Web Site

Here is a link that might be useful: http://plantinfo.umn.edu/

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 11:27PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Well Sweep Farm in northern New Jersey lists it in their 2012 catalog.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 11:36PM
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After you find Hart's Tongue where are you going to grow it? I found it here where it grows happily near the wheel of an old mill in Maryland. It is wet, mossy and shaded.
I simply cannot duplicate these conditions on my property.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 8:40PM
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Hello Poaky1,

I started collecting the spores of Harts tongue fers and I think I can sent them in a few days.

Growing ferns from spores is not difficult, requires very little work but a lot of patience.

I started to grow ferns from spores only last summer, I am an apprentice, but things are working well.
I sowed spores of Osmunda regalis, Platycerium bifurcatum, Dicksonia Antarctica, Cyrtomium falcatum, Polystichum setiferum, I apologize for the Latin names but I do not know the corresponding names in English, and are already growing young ferns.
The spores of Adiantum venustum and Onoclea subtilis have sprouted but are still at the stage of protalli.

f you do not know how to proceed with the sowing of the spores may visit


If the containers are kept closed not need regular watering and less open unless there are risks of infections from mold.

Wandering around the woods, gardens and parks, I noted that it is true that the Harts tongue fers sprout spontaneously in very shady and damp but can grow in places much less humid and shady.
So I wanted to tell Sam that if you have a tree does enough shadow that can be grown in gardens.
The conditions for the spores can germinate and survive young protalli are very different from those in which adults can thrive and a proof are the ferns in my garden, some are born almost on the concrete wall

One in particular gets a lot of sun, the roots dispose of calcium but have very little moisture.

I transplanted the other between the camellias under the fir trees and smothered in ivy, the soil is very acidic and the first 20 "remain dry for more than a month and when the leaves are wilted I water but most of the water it will settle for rains.

I would say that it is a fern very resistant, just plant it in the ground when it is enough strengthened and be careful to water it on a regular basis until it could develop a good root system.

As soon the spores are ready I send them to you.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 10:41AM
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Boabab and everybody else. Sorry I haven't checked back sooner. I received the spores a couple days ago, thank you by the way. I may put them in a raised bed under my Pin oak. It is close to the house and gets watered frequently. If there are lots of spores I may sow some under another oak sorta close to the house so I can watert them if rain is scarce. I appreciate you taking the time Boabab, thanks. Poaky1

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 3:21AM
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I sowed the spores in a little courtyard-like area instead of under the Pin oak but it's in an area close to the hose so I can try to help with keeping it moist. I had one of these before, but after moving it, it died. I should've not moved it I guess. I don't have lots of calcium in my soil, but where I sowed these spores I can add a little bit without affecting my Rhodedendron that about 18-20 feet from the spore bed. I am glad to hear they can take some sun, the area of the spores gets some morning sun. Thanks again Baobab.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 9:41PM
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Boabab, Sam and David, I so far haven't seen any fern growth from the spores. I found a plant on Ebay and received it today. Thanks again for the spores Boabab. I just read online that after 2 or 3 seasons, the plant dies. That explains why my original plants didn't come up after 2 or 3 years. I thought they needed something I didn't provide. I wish I could find some locally like Sam has.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 2:02AM
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Hallo poaky.

I noticed that the images I had uploaded have disappeared due to the updating of Flickr and I can not highlight them. Sorry.

It amazes me the information that the hart tongue fern live only 2 or 3 years.
My have many more, and each year they get bigger and lush.
Sometimes dies the oldest part of the strain but continue to develop various side shoots.

The reproduction of ferns in nature is a very rare event compared to the millions of spores that are produced.
But it is rightly so, if they survived only 1% in the space of a decade in the world exist only ferns.
Although the conditions of light and humidity are favorable and born many prothalli immediately they become food for a multitude of other living things, from bacteria to snails, from mushrooms to caterpillars of butterflies.
The prothalli survivors must continue to have constant temperature, humidity and light adequate.
If at the time of maturity they are not wet by a veil of water, antherozoids fail to swim until the archegonium for creates a sporophyte. And if they are not eaten before, degenerate and die later.

For us humans who do not have long lead times and spaces of nature, which in a few months we want to see our garden covered with flowers, we just have to intervene by creating artificial conditions.
Keep the light, humidity and temperature constant, hold off predators who want to eat our precious prothalli under a tree in the garden is a losing battle.
Re-create the right environment in a small container closed and transparent is much easier and is the system used by those who want to obtain new ferns in a secure manner to success.
For those who do not have the mentality of the professor Oldbones, mythical character of Mickey Mouse, the reproduction of ferns from spores is very boring, it's like watching the stalactites as they become longer, better buy a beautiful fern to be planted in the garden.

If your fern in the garden is dead after a few years depends on how much calcium there is in the soil, my growing up on a layer of pine needles decomposed between lilies of the valley and ivy.
Is probably dead for water stress. The ferns are not only sensitive to moisture in the soil but also to the air, if the air is dry and even worse if there is often wind leaves lose too much water through transpiration.
In this case, you can create a kind of protection built at some distance a pretty drywall stone that protects from the prevailing winds.
The wall can be of various heights and with steps to support the pots with plants that love the shade. In this way also carries a decorative function

My best wishes for the new fern.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 3:44PM
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