Northern Maidenhair - Adiantum aleuticum

[IFBC-E-flora]

[E-flora]

 


Synonyms


Identification

"Adiantum pedatum is a FERN growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. The seeds ripen from Aug to October.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil." [PFAF]

This species as listed subtaxa [E-flora]

Status:

General: "Deciduous perennial, palmately branched, from a stout, scaly rhizome, 15-75 cm tall." [IFBC-E-flora]
Leaves: "Broadly fan-shaped, 10-75 cm long; stalks reddish-brown to purplish-black; blades more or less palmately-pinnate, set at right angles to the stalks and more or less parallel to the ground, 10-40 cm long, 10-40 cm wide, rounded to kidney-shaped, forked at the bases into 2 recurved-spreading divisions which in turn bear 2-several shorter divisions, the larger divisions with 15-35, alternate, short-stalked" [IFBC-E-flora]
Notes: "Small plants with small fronds (5 to 15 cm across) and strongly overlapping ultimate segments were described as A. pedatum L. var. subpumilum Wagner. They clearly belong to this species, but no formal nomenclatural transfer has been done yet. This variety is rare on coastal bluffs from northern Vancouver Island south to the Olympic Peninsula, WA." [IFBC-E-flora]
Habitat / Range
"Moist forests, rocks, scree, cliffs, banks and waterfall spray zones in the lowland and montane zones; frequent throughout BC, mostly S of 55°N, infrequent in SC BC; amphiberingian, N to AK, E to SW AB and S to CO, AZ and CA; disjunct E to PQ and NF and S to PA, WV and MI; E Asia."[IFBC-E-flora]
"N. America - Alaska to Quebec and Nova Scotia, south to California and Georgia. E. Asia" [PFAF]


Hazards

Thiaminase containing family: "Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[200]. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase[172]." [PFAF]


Other Uses

Medicinal Uses

"This plant was highly valued as a medicinal plant in the 19th century and merits scientific investigation[222]." [PFAF]


Pharmacology


Cultivation

"Easily grown in a cool moist shady position[1, 187]. Requires an abundance of moisture in the air and soil[1]. Prefers an alkaline soil[200]. Requires an acid soil according to another report. A very ornamental plant[1], it does not always succeed outdoors in Britain[1]. It probably prefers to be covered in snow overwinter - could a mulch help[1]? This species is often divided into three separate species by botanists - the type species is found in eastern N. America, A. aleuticum is found in western N. America and a third species is found in eastern Asia[270]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233]. Plants have a slowly-increasing rootstock[233]." [PFAF]

Propagation

"Spores - best sown as soon as ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep them humid until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old and then only in a very well sheltered position. Division in spring or autumn." [PFAF]


References

  1. [E-flora] - Adiantum aleuticum, http://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Adiantum%20aleuticum&redblue=Both&lifeform=5, Accessed April 8, 2015
  2. [PFAF]Adiantum pedatum - Northern Maidenhair,American Maidenhair Fern, http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Adiantum+pedatum, Accessed April 8, 2015

Page last modified on Monday, July 24, 2017 8:38 AM