Adiantum pedatum, Northern Maidenhair Fern

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Northern Maidenhair Fern is an elegant ornamental plant with striking
black stalks that will not go unnoticed in a shaded border or garden. This
native of moist woods in much of the eastern half of North America* has a
singular growth habit with its fronds held horizontally in the shape of a fan.

Print Version: Adiantum pedatum, Northern Maidenhair Fern

Adiantum pedatum, Northern Maidenhair Fern, Fern Height: 1–21⁄2 feet Spread: 1–11⁄2 feet Bloom Color: Non-flowering Characteristics Deciduous perennial with clump-forming habit Fiddleheads emerge pink-brown in early spring Frond blades are held horizontal to the ground in a fan shape on red-brown-to-black wiry stalks Delicately textured, frilly pinnae (leaflets) Spores located on outer edges of leaflets Spreads slowly by rhizomes to create colonies Attributes Tolerates dense shade No serious pests or diseases Deer rarely damage Low maintenance Herbal uses Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Acidic (prefers), well-drained Light Requirements: Partial Shade, Shade Water Requirements: Moist Intense heat combined with too much sun or dry soil may turn fronds brown Use as an accent or edging plant, in shaded borders, or naturalized in woodland gardens Hardiness: USDA Zones 3–8 Excellent Replacement for Hedera helix - English Ivy Liriope spicata - Creeping Lily-Turf Vinca minor - Periwinkle *In the Mid-Atlantic Region: In DE, it is uncommon in the Piedmont and rare in the Coastal Plain. It is native to DC, northern and western MD, and most of PA. In VA, it is common in the mountains, frequent in the Piedmont, and infrequent in the Coastal Plain.

Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets