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Products > Adiantum capillus-veneris 'Banksianum'
Adiantum capillus-veneris 'Banksianum' - Maidenhair Fern

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Fern
Family: Pteridaceae (~Polypodiaceae)
Origin: North America
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Insignificant
Bloomtime: Not Significant
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Adiantum capillus-veneris 'Banksianum' (Maidenhair Fern) - This graceful fern reaches to about 18 inches tall with fronds that divide three times to display bright green oval-shaped leaflets on the black leaf stems. It performs best in morning sun or bright shade with regular water although it can tolerate infrequent irrigation in cool coastal gardens and is hardy and evergreen to about 20 degrees F but will rebound after a frost sets it back so can be used in colder areas as well. The name Adiantum comes from the Greek word 'adiantos' meaning unwettable (from 'a' meaning "not" and 'diantos' meaning "wettable") because the fronds shed water. The specific epithet capillus-veneris comes from 'capillus' meaning "hair" and 'veneris' the generative form of Venus, the goddess of love so named for its beautiful fronds and supplying the plant with one of its common names, Venus Hair Fern and the species is also often called Southern Maidenhair. The variety 'Banksianum' (also known as Mairisii) is hardier with thicker rhizomes with more upright and sparingly branched fronds with broadly triangular leaflets. This plant is thought to have originated at the Mairis & Company Nursery in England in the 1800's and though possibly be a hybrid between Adiantum capillus-veneris and A. aethiopicum, it is noted to come true from spores so is a stabilized clone. We grew this plant since 1982 from a collection made from a Goleta Valley garden and offered it as Adiantum capillus-veneris until it was identified as being this cultivar by fern specialist, the late Barbara Joe Hoshizakii. As with other Mainden hair ferns this plant is not attractive browse for deer and is relatively fairly drought-tolerant and, if necessary, can recede in a summer dormancy to return when moisture is available.  The information on this page is based on our research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery containers, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We will also incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing  Adiantum cap. 'Banksianum'.