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Asplenium scolopendrium AGM

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Fern

Habit

Tufted

Resilience

Hardiness

H6 (hardy - very cold winter)

Colour

Foliage

Dark Green in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

0.1-0.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

5-10 years


Preferred common name

hart's tongue fern

Family

Aspleniaceae


Asplenium are evergreen ferns with short, usually erect rhizomes bearing a rosette of slightly leathery fronds which may be simple, pinnate to 3-pinnate

A. scolopendrium is an evergreen fern forming a rosette of arching, rich green, strap-shaped fronds 30-75cm in length, the margins often undulate. Spores borne in conspicuous transverse stripes beneath the fronds

Other common names

  • burnt weed
  • buttonhole
  • Christ's hair
  • hart's tongue fern
  • horse tongue

Synonym(s)

  • Phyllitis scolopendrium

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Part shade
  • Full shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, North-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

Grows well in humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil. Bright mid-day sun can cause damage. May be sensitive to fungicides.Tolerant of dry shade but water regularly during the first season and mulch well

Soil

  • Moist but well-drained
  • Alkaline or Neutral
  • Loam, Chalk, Sand or Clay

Propagation

Propagate by sowing spores in mid to late summer or by division in spring. Peeled leaf bases can be taken off from where the stem joins with the root. Old leaf bases that are green at the base are incubated in a plastic bag of loam based media. Green swellings can be found and potted to raise new plants

Suggested planting locations and garden types

City/Courtyard Gardens, Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Ground Cover or Underplanting of Roses and Shrubs


How to care

Pruning

Dead or damaged fronds may be removed as necessary

Pests

Generally pest free outdoors

Diseases

May be infected by a rust in mild, damp winters