Woodwardia radicans (European Chain Fern)

woodwardia radicans line drawing.png
woodwardia radicans line drawing.png

Woodwardia radicans (European Chain Fern)

8.00

This large fern has been a favorite in cultivation for over three centuries. The gracefully arching bipinnate fronds emerge a light peach with good light exposure, and display well in large decorative urns or flow nicely over walls and down slopes. The pinnae are lanceolate and well spaced from one another. The pinnule margins may be smooth but they are more often serrate or minutely toothed and they often end with a bristle-like point. One of the most noticeable features of this chain fern is the very large proliferous bulbils that develop at the apex of the blade.  Builbils begin as a conspicuous mass of golden-brown scales and eventually develop several fronds. The weight of these developing baby ferns pulls the arching fronds down to soil level to root. The sori are arranged in short oblongs on either side of the pinnule mid-rib, fashioning a line of sori which is impressed through so as to be noticeable on the upper surface as a chain-like pattern. This chain fern relishes a deep rich moist soil in a sheltered spot, preferably on an incline. A heavy mulch is recommended for those attempting to grow this in Zone 8 areas which have relatively mild yet not frost-free winters.

Frond Condition:  Evergreen
Mature Height:  3-6', long arching drooping habit

Origin: Southern Europe
Cultural Requirements: Some Shade, Partly Shaded, Evenly Moist
USDA Zones: 8 (with protection from hard frost), 9, 10

 

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