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Adiantum pedatum is a beautiful fern that adds a delicate touch to the woodland garden. It has graceful feathery green fronds that are held on shiny black stems. Maidenhair fern spreads by shallow rhizomes to form a dense groundcover, bringing wonderful texture to the landscape. Excellent around shady water features and damp spots. Native to the eastern U.S.
Adiantum pedatum, Athyrium thelypterioides, Athyrium pynocarpon, Hepatica acutiloba, Hydrangea americana, Polystichum acrostichoides, Stylophorum diphyllum, Tradescantia virginiana, Trillium grandiflorum, and Veratrum woodii are all confined to the slope communities. Adiantum pedatum is a very delicate and airy looking fern with fan shaped fronds on striking black stems. It has a very unique growth habit, spreading its fronds in a perfect circle. It spreads slowly over time to form large colonies. This plant is a native of moist woodlands in eastern North America. It adds a different texture to woodland plantings. Maidenhair Ferns combine well with Asarum europeaum and larger leaved shade perennials.
Names: The genus name Adiantum, is from two Greek words a, meaning 'without' and diainem meaning 'to wet', together meaning 'unwetted' referring to the smoothness of the fronds causing moisture to always run off them leaving them appearing dry, even after being plunged in water. The species name, pedatum, means 'like a bird's foot', referring to divisions that radiate outward from a common center - in this case the pinnae radiating outward from the horseshoe shaped rachis. The author name for the plant classification, 'L.' refers to Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), Swedish botanist and the developer of the binomial nomenclature of modern taxonomy. Once considered a single species across its range in North America and eastern Asia, Adiantum pedatum is considered to be a complex of at least three vicariant species (A. pedatum and A. aleuticum occur in North America) and a derivative allopolyploid species (C. A. Paris 1991). Adiantum pedatum in the strict sense is restricted to deciduous woodlands in eastern North America. (Source: floranorthamerica.org)