categoryZFerns Ferns List 

MAIDENHAIR FERN

VENUS MAIDENHAIR FERN, ROCK FERN

Adiantum capillus-veneris

Maidenhair Family [Adiantaceae]  

Spores:
spores8may spores8jun spores8june spores8jul spores8july spores8aug
Fronds:
fronds8may fronds8jun fronds8june fronds8jul fronds8july fronds8aug

category
category8Ferns
status
statusZnative
rarity
rarityZscarce

3rd July 2010, Arnside, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Seaside location under wet over-hanging rocks and sheltered from direct sea spray.


3rd July 2010, Arnside, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Last years growth has turned brownish-fawn behind the new growth.


3rd July 2010, Arnside, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Hangs downwards.


3rd July 2010, Arnside, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Leaves alternate on thin and dark-brown wiry stem.


16th Sept 2009, Arnside, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Slightly older leaves have a more stepped lower edge. Thin stem connects a tapered collection of fan-shaped separated leaflets.


16th Sept 2009, Arnside, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Likes a moist location. Last years leaves are whitish, older leaves greyish, and newer leaflets greener.


16th Sept 2009, Arnside, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
A single leaflet is fan-shaped, in several partial segments, and has radial veins. The tips bulge slightly to accommodate the sori underneath.


3rd July 2010, Arnside, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Obverse of leaflets. The thin (and at the present time transparent) folded over film on the obverse of the lower edge of each leaflet will eventually mature to a non-transparent brown fold-over which houses the spores.


Not to be confused with: Maidenhair Spleenwort [another fern].

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : The fan-shaped leaflets, drooping downwards.

No relation to : Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo bilboa) [a non-native plant of similar name and rather similarly shaped leaves].

There are a few garden varieties and one other native variety (Adiantum raddianum) of 'Maidenhair Fern' that do not resemble this plant, although they may indeed be of the same Genus, Adiantum. There are 200 species of Genus Adiantum, which obtains the name from the Greek due to the plants ability to shun becoming wetted by water, even though it grows in moist places.

A rather rare plant in the UK in the wild, since it's only habitat seems to be limestone rocks by the sea, in particular favouring dripping wet tufa rock. However, some species of Maidenhair Fern are popular as an indoor house plant. The sori are underneath at the tips of the leaflets.


  Adiantum capillus-veneris  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Adiantaceae  

Distribution
 family8Maidenhair family8Adiantaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Adiantum
Adiantum
(Maidenhair Fern)

MAIDENHAIR FERN

VENUS MAIDENHAIR FERN, ROCK FERN

Adiantum capillus-veneris

Maidenhair Family [Adiantaceae]  

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