Adiantum pedatum

northern maidenhair fern


Adiantum pedatum

L. 1753

pronounced: ADD-ee-an-tum ped-AH-tum

(Pteridaceae — the maidenhair fern family)

common name: northern maidenhair fern

See Adaiantum spp. for a description of the genus.

Pedatus is Latin, having feet. This is a North American native, from Alaska to Quebec and Nova Scotia, south to California and Georgia, and is also found in east Asia, in rich deciduous woodlands from sea level to about 700 m.

It is deciduous, clump-forming, and grows to about 60 cm tall. It is most frequently found on rich wooded slopes, ravine bottoms and damp shady woods.

The fronds are finely-textured and somewhat frilly, with curved stalks and are palmately divided. The wiry stems, when mature, are reddish brown to black. New fronds first emerge as pink fiddleheads.


Photographs taken 2014, Picnic Bay

Page last updated 29th September 2018