Adiantum capillus-veneris L.

Southern Maidenhair Fern, Venus Hair Fern

Adiantum capillus-veneris plant

Family - Pteridaceae

Habit - Rhizomatous, homosporous, herbaceous, perennial fern.

Stems - No info yet.

Adiantum capillus-veneris rachisDark rachis of the fronds.

Leaves - Drooping to pendulous, to 75 cm long, the petioles unbranched apically, dark brown, the single rachis straight or flexuous. Leaf blades 1-2 times pinnately compound, lanceolate to deltoid in outline. Pinnules 6-20 mm long, stalked, obliquely wedge-shaped to oval or nearly rectangular, variously lobed at the apex or along 1 side, the sterile pinnule margins sharply toothed, the fertile pinnule margins mostly entire.

Adiantum capillus-veneris frondFrond.

Adiantum capillus-veneris pinnulePinnules.

Sori - Linear to oblong or kidney-shaped, born on the margins of the pinnule undersides. Spores 64 per sporangium, 20-50 um in diameter, yellow to light brown.

Sporulation - Spores produced June - August.

Habitat - Moist ledges and crevices of dolomite bluffs and boulders along streams, rivers, and springs.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This species can be found in the Ozark region of Missouri. The plant is common along the steep bluffs of the many rivers in the area and is best seen by canoe. It is an unmistakable species because of its habitat and lacy growth habit. The sori are produced along the apical margins of the pinnules.

Photographs taken along the Current River, 7-11-04.