Sign up for News & Availability Emails
Site Search:
Adiantum pedatum (northern maidenhair)

Click here to download technical information for growers:

Hardy fern grow sheet
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Adiantum pedatum

northern maidenhair

Dainty, bright green fronds are held aloft on shiny black stems, creating a light, airy texture in the woodland garden. In rich soil and bright shade it will spread by shallow rhizomes to form a dense groundcover. Found in the humus-rich woodlands and moist woods of Eastern North America. Easy to grow as long as the soil is loose and rich.

Adiantum pedatum LP32 - 32 per flat Availability
Add to My North Creek Nurseries Wish List


12-24 Inches


12-18 Inches


12 Inches

Bloom Color

USDA Hardiness Zone 2-8

northern maidenhair Interesting Notes

From the Greek adiantos meaning unwetted, refering to the impermeable leaves of some species shedding water. University of Vermont

Adiantum pedatum, the five finger maidenhair, has long topped the popularity list for native North American ferns. Even those who dismiss ferns as “all looking alike” appreciate this species for bringing grace and beauty to the shady garden. The pedate frond hand waves its airy fingers horizontally from atop a purple black stipe (stem) of 1 to 3 feet in height. In time, good moist compost and filtered light this will form a lush clump gradually spreading its welcome wands of foliage. Brighter light will reduce the size of the fronds but full sun does not make for a happy plant! Although deciduous and depending on Mother Nature’s whims, it can hold its fronds into late fall. It is content in gardens from Zone 2 (where it is clearly one of the most ornamental options) to Zone 9. - Casa Flora

Adiantum pedatum Growing and Maintenance Tips

A. pedatum can be found in humus-rich woodlands and moist woods in acidic to neutral, moist, well-drained soils. Does not tolerate clay. Happier in cooler climates and can take more sun in northern zones. Spreads by shallow rhizomes. Propagate by dividing rhizomes in spring. Best used as a groundcover in the woodland or rock garden or as an edge or border in the shaded garden.

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Shade
Full Shade
Part Sun
Part Sun
Cut Flower
Cut Flower

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Green Infrastructure
Native to North America
Ornamental Foliage
Propagation Type
Tissue culture