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ASPLENIUM scolopendrium

Image of Asplenium scolopendrium

James H. Schutte

Family

Aspleniaceae

Botanical Name

ASPLENIUM scolopendrium

Plant Common Name

Hart's Tongue Fern

General Description

This uniquely shaped fern was named centuries ago for the resemblance of its strap-shaped fronds to a deer’s tongue. It is native to Europe, preferring limestone seeps and other rocky well-drained forest conditions. Slightly different forms can be found across North America but today these small populations are endangered. It makes a beautiful rosette of upright, solid fronds that are bright green and wavy-edged, a strong contrast to to ferns with feathery fronds. Because ferns are primitive plants they do not flower. Instead they reproduce by spores, which in this species are clustered along the outer edges of fertile fronds.

Use Hart’s tongue fern in difficult spots beneath old shade trees where conditions are well-drained. It will spread by short rhizomes (tunneling stems) to form extensive clumps. This is a great fern to naturalize within existing woodlands over a wide range of climates, where moisture and slopes combine to create suitable habitat.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 8

  • Plant Type

    Fern

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    18"-28" / 45.7cm - 71.1cm

  • Width

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Native To

    Europe

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Yellow Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Foundation, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No