Adiantum /ˌædiˈæntəm/,[1] the walking fern or maidenhair fern, is a genus of about 250 species of ferns in the Vittarioideae subfamily of the family Pteridaceae,[2] though some researchers place it in its own family, Adiantaceae. The genus name comes from Greek, meaning "unwetted", referring to the fronds' ability to shed water without becoming wet.

Adiantum
Adiantum pedatum 09905.JPG
Western five-fingered fern (Adiantum aleuticum)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Pteridaceae
Subfamily: Vittarioideae
Genus: Adiantum
L.
Type species
Adiantum capillus-veneris
L.
Species

See text

Contents

DescriptionEdit

They are distinctive in appearance, with dark, often black stipes and rachises, and bright green, often delicately cut leaf tissue. The sori are borne submarginally, and are covered by reflexed flaps of leaf tissue which resemble indusia. Dimorphism between sterile and fertile fronds is generally subtle.

They generally prefer humus-rich, moist, well-drained sites, ranging from bottomland soils to vertical rock walls. Many species are especially known for growing on rock walls around waterfalls and water seepage areas.

The highest species diversity is in the Andes. Fairly high diversity also occurs in eastern Asia, with nearly 40 species in China.

Species native to North America include A. pedatum (five-fingered fern) and the closely related A. aleuticum, which are distinctive in having a bifurcating frond that radiates pinnae on one side only. The cosmopolitan A. capillus-veneris (Venus-hair fern) has a native distribution that extends into the eastern continent. A. jordanii (California Maidenhair) is native to the west coast.

There is a rich Adiantum flora in New Zealand with 3 endemic species (A. cunninghamii, A. viridescens and A. fulvum) in a total of 10 recorded species. Many of these are common especially in the west and south of the islands.

CladisticsEdit

It is now known that this genus is paraphyletic, and that the vittarioid ferns are derived from this larger paraphyletic genus. However, if Adiantum raddianum, and possibly a few other species, are removed, the remaining plants (genus type: Adiantum capillus-veneris) are then monophyletic.

CultivationEdit

Many species are grown in the horticultural trade, including all three of the species mentioned, as well as a number of tropical species, including A. raddianum and A. peruvianum. Both A. pedatum and A. aleuticum are hardy to zone 3, and are by far the most cold-hardy members of the genus. A. venustum is also cold-hardy to zone 5. A. capillus-veneris is hardy to zone 7.

List of speciesEdit

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  2. ^ Christenhusz, Maarten J. M.; Zhang, Xian-Chun; Schneider, Harald (18 February 2011). "A linear sequence of extant families and genera of lycophytes and ferns" (PDF). Phytotaxa. 19: 7–54. ISSN 1179-3163.
  3. ^ English Names for Korean Native Plants (PDF). Pocheon: Korea National Arboretum. 2015. p. 341. ISBN 978-89-97450-98-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2016 – via Korea Forest Service.