Asplenium rhizophyllum (Camptosorus rhizophyllus)

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Common Name: Walking Fern

4-12 inches tall by 4-6 inches spread. Prefers medium shade but tolerates light to dense shade; medium moisture level; thin, rocky soil; neutral to slightly alkaline pH.

Maintenance: Medium. Prone to slugs.

Foliage: Evergreen

Growth/Colonizing Habit: Roots wherever a frond tip touches moist soil, which is an unusual method for a fern. Vegetative colonies often encountered.

Native Region: Present in all counties in Middle and East Tennessee and absent from all counties in Coastal Plain Province

Very distinctive species with glossy, green fronds that are not divided or lobed, an unusual feature for ferns. Each frond is triangular and tapering to a long point. Commonly found growing over moist limestone outcroppings. Prefers to grow on mossy, limestone boulders. Proper location for planting can be a challenge to the gardener so this fern can be difficult to grow. Common name comes from its ability to develop new shoots from the tips of fronds where they touch the ground.

Walking Fern - Asplenium rhizophyllum (Camptosorus rhizophyllus)
Photo Courtesy of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center