Adiantum capillus-veneris L.

Maidenhair Fern

Rhizome short-creeping, thin, covered with long-tipped dark brown scales. Fronds divided 2-3 times. Blade ovate to narrowly triangular in outline, to about 25 cm long but occasionally up to 40 cm or so. Stalk blackish brown, shiny, hairless. Segments fan-shaped, mostly 1-2 cm long, about as wide as long, pale green, outer edge rounded, finely to deeply cut, mostly not overlapping, thin, outer margins lobed and cut. Sori mostly 4-8 along the edge of the tips of the segments between the notches; indusial flap oblong.

Will tolerate cool conditions.

WA, SA, NT, Qld, NSW, Vic., also widespread in subtropical to warm temperate regions

Fan-shaped segments with oblong sori all along the margins; cf. A. aethiopicum, A. raddianum and A. tenerum.

Source: Spencer, R. (1995). Adiantaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 1, Ferns, conifers & their allies. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Distribution map

Adiantum capillus-veneris 'Banksianum'

Similar to the species but larger and hardy with erect, thick-stalked fronds. Segments wider and less lobed than in the species. Sori 1-2 per lobe. Reproduces true from spores but generally propagated by division. A widely grown cultivar in cooler areas. Origin unknown.

Adiantum capillus-veneris 'Fimbriatum'

Segments often overlapping, the margins deeply cut more than half way with the finger-like projections often twisting, overlapping and with toothed margins. Spores reproduce true to type. Origin unknown.

Adiantum capillus-veneris 'Imbricatum'

Fronds arching. Segments densely arranged, large and overlapping; margins cut into deep lobes, some of which have narrow, finger-like projections, but rarely cut more than half way. A small plant reproducing true to type from spores. Origin unknown.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Polypodiopsida
order     Polypodiales
family      Pteridaceae
genus       Adiantum L.