Wooly Lip Fern (Myriopteris [Cheilanthes] tomentosa)

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Wooly Lip Fern (Myriopteris [Cheilanthes] tomentosa)

10.00

Synonym Note:  Many Cheilanthes species were formerly classified as Astrolepis.  Recently, some have been further reclassified as Myriopteris.

For those of you who have never dabbled with xeric (desert) ferns this is the species to begin with. It is a vigorous apogamous triploid of unknown parentage with a broad southern range from West Virginia to Arizona and down into Mexico. It occurs on a wide variety of rock types including limestones and granite. What all this means is that as xerics go this one is easy to please given good drainage, and some protection from winter wet in those areas with high precipitation. It should be grown in full to partial sun with its toes tucked under a rock or covered with a gravel mulch for best results. The blade is a smoky glaucous-green covered with a smattering of fine unbranched white hairs supported by a purplish-black framework. The two to three pinnate or divided blade, even sometimes four times pinnate on the lower pinnae, is delicately etched into oval and sometimes oblong miniscule segments. The lower surface of the blade displays a dense overlay of curly hairs which darken to a buffy golden hue with maturity. This species is often confused with Cheilanthes eatonii to which it is closely related. The costal scales on tomentosa are linear and inconspicuous whereas they are lanceolate to ovate and conspicuous on eatonii. The wide range and apogamous character of tomentosa can make geographic populations appear somewhat distinct, at least to the naked eye. This charming wooly confection is quite at home next to agave, yuccas, sun-loving bulbs, and other grit and sun loving rock plants.


Frond Condition: Evergreen to semi-evergreen
Mature Height: 12-18"
Origin: U.S.
Cultural Requirements: Some Shade, Partly Shaded, Evenly Moist, Slightly Moist to DRYISH (prefers good drainage: sand, volcanic rock, etc.)
USDA Zones: 6,7,8,9,10
Notes: Colonizing

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