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NEPHROLEPIS biserrata var. furcans

Image of Nephrolepis biserrata var. furcans

James H. Schutte

Family

Dryopteridaceae

Botanical Name

NEPHROLEPIS biserrata var. furcans

Plant Common Name

Broad Swordfern

General Description

Fish tail fern is a ground-dwelling or terrestrial fern, native to southeastern Asia. It spreads slowly by rhizomes (below ground stems) and stolons (above ground lateral stems). The leaf stems or petioles are covered with sparse to moderately numerous, one-color, reddish to light brown hair-like scales. The fronds are evergreen, long, once-pinnate, or feather like, and end in two or three forked division like the tail of a fish. This gives the fern a frilly look. The fronds are often arching or drooping. Fish tail fern reproduces by spores or is easily divided to form new plants.

Plant fish tail fern in part sun to full shade in moist to well-drained soil. The more sun, the more moisture is required. It is frost sensitive and will be killed to the ground by a few degrees of a freeze. However, it will return if the freeze is not prolonged. Fish tail fern is easy to grow as a house plant; provide bright to moderate light and high humidity for best growth. It is a great choice for a shady groundcover, around pools, and in containers, wet spots, natural areas and fern bars.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Fern

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    3'-8' / 0.9m - 2.4m

  • Width

    3'-6' / 0.9m - 1.8m

  • Native To

    Southeastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Thicket/Colonizing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    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

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Bog Garden, Container, Groundcover, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Tropical, Water Gardens

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes