|Adiantum aethiopicum subsp. var.||Common maidenhair fern|
Adiantum aethiopicum, also known as the common maidenhair fern, is a small fern of widespread distribution. Occurring in Africa, Australia, Norfolk Island and New Zealand. Known as the Common Maidenhair Fern in Australia. Adiantum aethiopicum is a popular and well known ornamental plant.
Adiantum aethiopicum was one of the many species first described by Linnaeus, in this case in his Systema naturae in 1759. The species name aethiopicum was an old term for South Africa.
Adiantum aethiopicum grows in spreading clumps of fronds from 10 to 45 cm (4-18 in) in height. The rhizomes are wiry and branched. The fronds are horizontal and layered, or upright. They are divided into two or three and have many small wedge-shaped segments, each of which has sori along its margins underneath.
A common plant, often seen growing in moist areas. In Australia it is found near by creeks or in open forest, where it may form a large colony.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Adiantum aethiopicum, Linn. (A. assimile, Swartz). Lvs. 1 ft. or more long on slender stalks, 2-3-pinnate, rather narrow; lfts. roundish or obscurely 3-lobed, the margin finely serrulate; sori 2-3 to a lft., with oblong or kidney-shaped indusia. Afr. and Austral.
In cultivation the Maidenhair fern prefers a well lit situation inside, but a shady place outdoors without draughts. It is suitable for terrariums and hanging baskets. It is fairly easy to grow. It responds well to diluted liquid fertilizers. Ensure the Maidenhair is well watered, drying out will easily stress the plant. Despite being an under-storey plant, it must have good light if placed inside the house. Though try to avoid too much direct sunlight or draughts. Plants that have dried out and lost all foliage may not be dead. They may send out new growth up to 18 months later. Outdoors it can tolerate a heavy clay soil.
Propagation is from plant division or by spores.
Pests and diseases
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