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Products > Pyrrosia lingua
Pyrrosia lingua - Tongue Fern
Image of Pyrrosia lingua
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Fern
Family: Polypodiaceae (Common Ferns)
Origin: Asia, East (Asia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: NA
Bloomtime: Not Significant
Synonyms: [crostichum lingua]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Light Shade/Part Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
Pyrrosia lingua (Tongue Fern) - The 12 to 18 inch tall epiphytic (growing on trees) or lithophytic (growing on rocks) plant with 18 inch long and 2 inch wide thick, olive green blades-like fronds rise singly from the slender surface creeping rhizomes. The fronds have a gently undulating margin and a slight twist to the entire blade, exposing for view the undersides that are covered in many small (1mm) round sori with accompanying stellate hairs and scales that make for an interesting felty cinnamon to tan colored surface. Plant in morning, late afternoon sun or bright shade and water occasionally to regularly. Cold hardy to 0 degrees (or less) and useful down to USDA Zone 6. The leaves have been compared to having a texture and look or a cow's tongue and the twisting and undulations of the blades provide a great contrast between the green upper and reddish tan undersides. Great in containers or planted in the ground as an interesting and attractive evergreen solid groundcover. It is at its does best in a very well-drained soil or steep slope (rhizomes can stick to a vertical surface) in bright indirect light and fertilized throughout the warm months with a fertilizer like fish emulsion. Avoid overwatering and use a well-drained orchid bark amended soil in containers. This fern is native to Japan, China, Taiwan, India, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, and Vietnam, where it grown on moderately dry rocks or on trees at low to mid elevations (300 to 6,200 feet) in mountainous area. The name for the genus comes from the Greek word 'pyrros' meaning "flame-colored" or "red" in reference to the reddish tint of the stellate hairs of some Pyrrosia species, namely the type plant Pyrrosia chinensis (P. stigmosa). The specific epithet fittingly means tongue-like. We have steadily been building stock on this plant from plants given to up by John Bleck from plants growing very well in his Goleta, California garden.  The information about Pyrrosia lingua displayed on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources we consider reliable. We will also relate those observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments we receive from others and welcome hearing from anyone who has additional information, particularly when they share cultural information that would aid others in growing it.