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Nephrolepis exaltata

Pronunciation: Neff-frahl-lepp-piss eck-sahl-tay-tuh
Family: Nephrolepidaceae (sword fern family)
Common Name: Sword fern, boston fern, wild boston fern
Plant Type:
  • perennial
Height to: 3'
Width to: 6'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • full shade
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Description: Wild boston fern has erect fronds up to 3' long and 6" wide in tufted clusters arising from underground stems called rhizomes. The individual pinnae (leaflets) are as much as 3" long and shallowly toothed, but not further divided. The round sori (clusters of spore-bearing organs) are in two rows near the margins on the underside of the pinnae.
Propagation: By division of rooted runners. The various cultivars will not come true from spores.
Notes for Identification: Outdoors, boston fern is usually grown in moist, shady sites beneath ornamental trees or shrubs, or as a ground cover. It makes a good ground cover for the north side of the house or under shade trees where little else will grow. Under favorable conditions, boston fern will spread by underground runners. Indoors, the species and its many cultivars are often grown in hanging baskets or on pedestals. They are especially suitable for the bathroom or kitchen where they will appreciate the high humidity. Boston fern and its cultivars are the toughest and most widely used of all ferns. They were the typical "parlor ferns" before the advent of central heat and air. Even today they can survive for a year or two in centrally heated homes, and still look pretty good. Plant info from: floridata
Located in: Perennials
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