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Re: Adiantum lovers


My favorite genus.

Adiantum lovers should look for "Maidenhair Ferns in Cultivation" by 
Christopher Goudey, p. 336, 1985, Lothian Publishing, Melbourne, ISBN 0 85091 
175 3. It is available from a New Zealand bookstore.
http://touchwoodbooks.co.nz/
This is a comprehensive account from a gardener's viewpoint, profusely 
illustrated. There are no keys, but the photos are sufficiently diagnostic, 
even for the many cultivars of raddianum.

A more technical article, "The Genus Adiantum in Cultivation," with keys and 
drawings, is Barbara Joe Hoshizaki's 1970 account in Baileya, Vol 176, pages 97-
191. Definitely out of print.

Tony mentioned A. caudatum, a must-have for walking fern enthusiasts. In an 
elegant genus, these fronds are competitors for top position. Both references 
place caudatum in a wide swath of the old world tropics, not in temperate 
areas. However, both cite A. edgeworthii as similar, and from Asia, Japan. 
Could your caudatum be this? If so, it is glabrous rather than hairy.

I guess A. pedatum is too ho-hum to talk about, but it is the most loved fern 
among non-fernies here in North America, in spite of being a native. No plant 
sale I've been to ever had any left over. While hardiness, in the traditional 
sense, is not a question for pedatum, it is particularly adverse to house plant 
culture. Bring it in in late summer or fall, and it declines, declines. It 
requires a rest. This year I'm bringing in a pot in January to see whether an 
early stimulation can bring a touch of spring.

Another N.A. native is Adiantum jordanii, from the West Coast, southern Oregon 
down to Mexico. It is described as deciduous and difficult. I grow it in a 
hanging basket, evergreen and as easy as any. I have not tried it outside in 
winter, but plants from its northern provenance ought to make it hardy for some 
readers.

Tom Stuart, New York

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