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CHEILANTHES gracillima

Image of Cheilanthes gracillima

Family

Pteridaceae

Botanical Name

CHEILANTHES gracillima

Plant Common Name

Lace Lipfern, Lipfern

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

During a wilderness hike west of the Continental Divide in the American Pacific Northwest, you'll encounter a frilly, lacy-foliage fern growing on and among igneous rocks on slopes. The lace lipfern's narrow, upright fronds grow from a short, clumping rhizome. The native range extends from central California and Nevada northward to the border with British Columbia, Canada. High elevations protect this fern from excessive summertime heat and drought stresses.

The lace lipfern produces upright, narrow but spear-like fronds of bright green to rusty olive. The tiny leaflets in the frond are oval and sparsely hairy, with undersides a much lighter greenish white. From summer into fall, fertile fronds produce brownish-black sori bodies on their undersides. The sori cover the leaflet bottoms except for a narrow strip along the leaflet edges. Ferns reproduce by spores released from the sori, not with flowers and seeds. Excessive winter cold or a prolonged drought causes the fronds to die off.

Retain natural colonies of the lace lipfern if encountered on your property. Nursery-grown plants may be transplanted into partially shaded rock gardens or in the nooks of a shaded stone retaining wall. This fern looks its best when allowed to ramble around attractive boulders and hillside shrubs, creating a naturalistic setting in the landscape.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

  • Plant Type

    Fern

Growing Conditions

Ornamental Features

Special Characteristics