Welcome to the Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife Blog.

Welcome to the Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife Blog.
The purpose of this blog is to provide information on using native plants in the landscape, issues related to invasive exotic plants, urban wildlife management, and wildlife damage management. It is my intention that this information will assist you in deciphering the multitude of information circulating around the web and condense in some meaningful method as it relates to Kentucky. In addition, I hope to highlight a native plant that can be used in the landscape.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Plant of the Week: Northern Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum)

Elegant and graceful.  Enough said.  The Maidenhair ferns (of which Kentucky has two species, the northern and southern, a rare species in the state) are mostly a tropical group of plants and from looking at the northern maidenhair, it just gives that feeling of the tropics.  This deciduous fern is pretty easy to grow in the woodland garden if you have very well drained soil that is moist.  Think if you can grow hostas in a particular location, this fern will grow in the same habitat.  It definitely does not like clay. It can tolerate acidic or neutral soils and is therefore pretty adaptable to most garden settings. The small dainty fronds arise on black, wiry stems that form kind of a "C" looking plant that can get up to 20" tall.  It can be divided before the new fronds arise from the ground by dividing the rhizomes. This species is relatively pest free.  For those with deer problems, this plant is also pretty resistant to deer browsing.  Good companion plants might be the large yellow lady slipper orchid, wild geranium, and Virginia bluebells.  If you want a successional woodland garden, you could plant trout lilies, hepatica, or bloodroot in the same location because they will flower before the rusty, red fiddleheads of this fern come up.  

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