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Asplenium platyneuron (Ebony Spleenwort)

Ebony Spleenwort

Asplenium platyneuron, Ebony SpleenwortShade plants, shade perennial, plants for shade, plants for wet soil
Asplenium platyneuron, Ebony SpleenwortShade plants, shade perennial, plants for shade, plants for wet soil

Asplenium platyneuron (Ebony Spleenwort) is an evergreen fern forming a pretty rosette of slender, pinnate fronds that are either fertile or sterile. The semi-evergreen fertile fronds are erect to arching, 1-2 ft. long (30-60 cm), dark green, with short, alternate pinnae below and longer, opposite pinnae above. They are the first to emerge in spring. They are followed in early summer by shorter, curving, evergreen sterile fronds with pale green alternate pinnae. They contrast with the deep reddish brown to shining black stipe and rachis. The spores are released to the wind during the summer or early fall. The root system consists of a short rhizome with fibrous roots. Adaptable and easy to cultivate, Ebony Spleenwort grows equally well on red clay banks, disturbed or open woodlands, dry forests or in rock crevices. Unlike many other spleenworts, which are restricted to very rocky habitats, Ebony Spleenwort adapts to terrestrial conditions and can thrive in gardens.

  • Grows up to 6-18 in. tall (15-45 cm) and 6 in. wide (15 cm).
  • A part to full shade lover, it is best grown in gravelly, moist to slightly dry, well-drained soils. Grows well in acid or alkaline soils in loamy, rocky, or sandy soils. Must have excellent drainage as this plant is sensitive to overwatering. Tolerates some drought and does not tolerate flooding. Water occasionally to maximize its cover and to keep it green through hot, dry summers.
  • This plant is a great choice for shady rock gardens, native plant gardens, woodland gardens.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for slugs and crown rot in poorly drained soils.
  • Dead or damaged fronds may be removed as necessary.
  • Propagate by sowing spores or by division while dormant.
  • Native to Southern Africa, North America.

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 8
Plant Type Ferns
Plant Family Aspleniaceae
Genus Asplenium
Common names Spleenwort
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6" - 2'
(15cm - 60cm)
Spread 4" - 6"
(10cm - 15cm)
Spacing 6" - 12"
(15cm - 30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, Ohio, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado
Tolerance Full Shade, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Asplenium montanum (Mountain Spleenwort)
Asplenium trichomanes (Maidenhair Spleenwort)
Asplenium nidus (Bird’s Nest Fern)
Asplenium bulbiferum (Hen and Chickens Fern)
Asplenium scolopendrium (Hart’s Tongue Fern)

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 8
Plant Type Ferns
Plant Family Aspleniaceae
Genus Asplenium
Common names Spleenwort
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6" - 2'
(15cm - 60cm)
Spread 4" - 6"
(10cm - 15cm)
Spacing 6" - 12"
(15cm - 30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, Ohio, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado
Tolerance Full Shade, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage
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Do I Need?
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