Asplenium platyneuron

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Common Name: Ebony Spleenwort

6-12 inches tall by 6-12 inches spread. Part sun to full shade and tolerates heavy shade; medium to moderately dry moisture level; prefers rocky, gritty and humusy soils; slightly acidic to slightly alkaline pH.

Maintenance: Medium. Susceptible to slugs.

Foliage: Evergreen

Growth/Colonizing Habit: Fern has a clumping rootstock with black, wiry, colonizing roots. A single clump can spread slowly into a colony.

Native Region: Statewide

Grows in a clump-like form. Sterile and fertile fronds are entirely different in appearance; sterile fronds are prostrate, and fertile fronds are narrow and tall. One of the most drought tolerant ferns and takes more sun than most ferns if roots are kept well watered. Most adaptable of the Asplenium genus and grows equally well on clay banks, rocky slopes, ledges, rock crevices and in light shade of moist or drier forests. Must have excellent drainage to avoid crown rot. Ebony refers to fact that leaf stalks turn shining black with age.

Ebony Spleenwort - Asplenium platyneuron 3
Photo Courtesy of Kris Light
Ebony Spleenwort - Asplenium platyneuron 4
Photo Courtesy of John Hilty
Ebony Spleenwort - Asplenium platyneuron
Photo Courtesy of John Hilty