Northern maidenhair fern is a perennial deciduous clump-forming fern native to North America and Asia where it grows in humusy, moist well drained soils and rocky areas.   It is a member of the fern family, Pteridaceae, that includes 115o species of ferns in about 45 genera.  Growing 1-2.5′ tall from a creeping branched rhizome to form substantial colonies, it produces frilly fronds that are carried on reddish brown to purple-black wiry stipes (stem) and are palmately divided into finger like projections.  The linear sori  lack true indusia and are located on the frond margins protected by the reflexed margin of the leaf.  An outstanding fern and an excellent choice for a woodland, native plant, or shade garden.  The genus name, Adiantum, is from the Greek word adiantos meaning unwetted and refers to the water repellent foliage.  The specific epithet, pedatum, comes from the Latin word pes, pedis meaning foot and refers to the resemblance of the fronds the (chicken’s) feet.  The common name, maidenhair, refers to the black stipes (stems).
Type: Deciduous perennial

Bloom: None

Size: 1-2.5′ H x 1.1.5′ H

Light:Part to full shade

Soil: Humusy, consistently moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 3-8

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Division of rhizomes

Companion Plants: Hosta, Brunnera, Heuchera, caladium, lady’s mantle



By Karen