Adiantum hispidulum

Distribution Map
Family: Adiantaceae
Distribution: Widespread in both rainforest and open, exposed areas in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory. Also occurs outside of Australia.
Common Name: Rough maidenhair fern
Derivation of Name: Adiantum....from Greek, adiantos, unwetted, referring to the water repellent fronds.
hispidulum....covered with coarse hairs, referring to the hairy stems.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Adiantum is a well known genus of ferns, commonly known as "maidenhairs". There are about 200 species worldwide with around 9 native to Australia.

Adiantum hispidulum
Adiantum hispidulum
Photo: Fred Johnston

A.hispidulum is popular in cultivation and grows into a small, upright clump to about 45cm high. The young fronds are often pink and mature to green or a green-bronze colour. They are branched with fan-shaped pinnules (leaf segments) and have a rough texture.

This a hardy fern which performs best in soils containing appreciable organic matter with plenty of moisture. It will, however, tolerate a surprising amount of dryness. It will respond favourably to regular applications of general purpose fertilizers. Like most ferns, A.hispidulum makes an excellent container plant but should not be kept over-wet, a common cause of failure of container-grown ferns.

Propagation is usually carried out by division of the rhizome. Propagation can also be carried out from spores (see "Australian Plants online" March 1999 issue for simple propagation methods).

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