- Asplenium rhizophyllum Hardy Planting Zones- 4-9 Sun or Shade – Partial to Full Shade Mature Height - 6-12" Mature Width- 6-9" Bloom Season – n/a Gardener Status- Beginner
Spleenwort Fern - Aspleniaceae
The Spleenwort Fern is named for the plant's starburst like appearance. A vividly green plant, its leaves, and fronds grow outward and oftentimes upward from the plant's main body. Its stems are different from other ferns, they are known for being distinctly dark purplish. While the Spleenwort Fern's genus name is Asplenium it accounts for 700 different species of fern. The Spleenwort Fern grows all over the world with different appearances between all of them. It can grow anywhere from six inches to a little over a foot and is native to the Rocky Mountains and South Africa due to its well-known ability to grow on rocky slopes and banks. The spleenwort fern family encompasses many varieties, but each has similar characteristics. Spleenworts prefer rocky soils. In nature, they are found growing in granite, sandstone and limestone crevices. This makes them superb choices for shaded rock gardens. All spleenwort ferns prefer shaded environments and moist, well-draining soils. Since they grow naturally in rock crevices, they do well in slightly acidic soils that are rich and high in humus. None are flowering, and most die back during cold months, though not wholly. They offset flowers and last longer than many annuals, providing your garden with color throughout the growing season. During the winter months, erect fronds offer silhouettes and improve a landscape's presentation. Spleenwort ferns are low-maintenance plants and are available in a range of different hues, from bluish-gray to deep green fronds, and some varieties have black stems and variegated patterns. The leaf patterns also differ between types, but all lend your garden a thick texture that other plants rarely provide. Some growers choose to plant ferns along borders with wooded areas, beneath shady trees, along shaded walkways or terraces, or in containers as specimen plants. For specimen plants, choose varieties with distinctive features such as leathery leaves, glossy leaves, intricate net patterns and swooping or arching fronds. These unique plants provide visitors with a memorable display, especially when placed in shaded entryways or as focal points in rock gardens.