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Maidenhair fern

Adiantum selections

Maidenhair fern

Use beautiful maidenhair ferns to add an airy, delicate texture to the shade garden. There's something almost magical about the plants, especially when paired with a coarser plant, such as hosta. Maidenhair ferns are lovely when grouped in a shady, moist, well-drained location, forming a fine-textured mass.

Part Sun,Shade
Plant Type:
Plant Height:
12-30 inches tall
Plant Width:
12-30 inches wide
Flower Color:
Some forms have bluish-green leaves
Bloom Time:
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders,Groundcover
Special Features:
Attractive Foliage
Top Varieties

Adiantum pedatum is native to North America and bears upright black or brown stalks with featherlike medium green fronds. It grows 12-16 inches tall. Zones 3-8
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Adiantum pedatum aleuticum, at 30 inches tall, is larger than American maidenhair fern. It has black stems. New growth may be tinged pink. Zones 3-8
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Adiantum capillus-venerus has fan-shape leaflets on black stems. It is hardy only in Zones 8-10 and remains evergreen down to about 28 degrees F.
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Plant It With

The silvery splotched leaves of lungwort team with maidenhair fern to create season-long interest in the shade garden. Spring flowers in shades of pink, white, and blue are a bonus.


The bold foliage of hosta provides a dramatic contrast to the finely divided fronds of maidenhair fern. Variegated forms of hosta, in particular, highlight the fern foliage.


Long-blooming yellow corydalis is a perfect way to add color and complement a planting of maidenhair fern.