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DAVALLIA

Image of Davallia

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Davalliaceae

Botanical Name

DAVALLIA

Plant Common Name

Rabbit's Foot Fern

General Description

Deriving their common name from their fuzzy creeping rhizomes, these evergreen or semi-evergreen ferns are found throughout the Old World tropics. Many are epiphytic or lithophytic, forming large clumps on trees or rocks. The lacy, glossy, often triangular fronds vary widely in size. Popular hare's-foot ferns include the rabbit’s-foot (Davallia fejeensis), with relatively tall, finely divided fronds; deer’s-foot fern (Davallia canariensis), with downy brown rhizomes and knee-high, summer-deciduous fronds; and squirrel's-foot fern (Davallia trichomanoides), with broad fronds and thick silvery-furred rhizomes.

Hare's-foot ferns make excellent subjects for hanging baskets, bark slabs, or rocks. Give them an east-facing window or shady greenhouse, or plant them outside in bright shade in frost-free areas. They do best in humid conditions. Soil should be moist, richly organic and well drained. Propagation is by spores or by division of the clumps.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 17, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Fern

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    1'-4' / 0.3m - 1.2m

  • Width

    1'-4' / 0.3m - 1.2m

  • Native To

    Mediterranean, Northern Africa, Southern Asia, Southeastern Asia, China, Japan, Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, Australia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark 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

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Groundcover, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes