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Asplenium scolopendrium (Hart’s Tongue Fern)

Hart's Tongue Fern, Burnt Weed, Buttonhole, Christ's Hair, Horse Tongue, Phyllitis scolopendrium

AGM Award
Asplenium Scolopendrium, Hart's Tongue Fern, Burnt Weed, Buttonhole, Christ's Hair, Horse Tongue, Phyllitis scolopendrium, Shade plants, shade perennial, plants for shade, plants for wet soil
Asplenium Scolopendrium, Hart's Tongue Fern, Burnt Weed, Buttonhole, Christ's Hair, Horse Tongue, Phyllitis scolopendrium, Shade plants, shade perennial, plants for shade, plants for wet soil
Asplenium Scolopendrium, Hart's Tongue Fern, Burnt Weed, Buttonhole, Christ's Hair, Horse Tongue, Phyllitis scolopendrium, Shade plants, shade perennial, plants for shade, plants for wet soil
Asplenium Scolopendrium, Hart's Tongue Fern, Burnt Weed, Buttonhole, Christ's Hair, Horse Tongue, Phyllitis scolopendrium, Shade plants, shade perennial, plants for shade, plants for wet soil

Noted for the straight, pure line of its fronds and its tropical appearance, Asplenium scolopendrium (Hart’s Tongue Fern) is an evergreen fern forming a pretty rosette of arching, strap-shaped, bright green fronds. Unusual for a fern, the fronds are undivided, giving the plant a substantial appearance. They remain lush and fresh-looking throughout the year. On mature fronds, the underside is handsomely marked with conspicuous brown stripes, the sori that contain the plant’s spores.

Low maintenance, pest-free, Hart’s Tongue Fern enjoys a long season of interest – including winter when it adds a sparkle to the dullest of winter gardens.

  • Clump-forming, it easily grows up to 12-18 in. tall and wide (30-45 cm).
  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society for its outstanding qualities
  • A part to full shade lover, it is best grown in fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soils. Excellent drainage is required, and limestone-based soil is best, rather than acidic. Mulch around the plants with compost to keep the soil moisture even
  • This plant is a great choice for shady beds, borders, underplanting of roses and shrubs, cottage gardens or city gardens, woodlands, and containers. Excellent for edging or as groundcover too.
  • Rabbit and deer tolerant!
  • Dead or damaged fronds may be removed as necessary.
  • Propagate by sowing spores in mid to late summer or by division in spring. Peeled leaf bases can be removed from where the stem joins with the root. Old leaf bases that are green at the base are incubated in a plastic bag of loam-based media. Green swellings can be found and potted to raise new plants.
  • Native to Europe, eastern US.

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 9
Heat Zones 6 - 8
Climate Zones 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Ferns
Plant Family Aspleniaceae
Genus Asplenium
Common names Spleenwort, Buttonhole
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" (50cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Full Shade, Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Edging, Ground Covers, Patio And Containers, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Traditional Garden, City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Asplenium montanum (Mountain Spleenwort)
Asplenium platyneuron (Ebony Spleenwort)
Asplenium trichomanes (Maidenhair Spleenwort)
Asplenium nidus (Bird’s Nest Fern)
Asplenium bulbiferum (Hen and Chickens Fern)

Recommended Companion Plants

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum (Painted Lady Fern)
Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ (Boxwood)
Hosta ‘Patriot’ (Plantain Lily)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

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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 5 - 9
Heat Zones 6 - 8
Climate Zones 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Ferns
Plant Family Aspleniaceae
Genus Asplenium
Common names Spleenwort, Buttonhole
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" (50cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Full Shade, Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Edging, Ground Covers, Patio And Containers, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Traditional Garden, City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Not sure which Asplenium (Spleenwort) to pick?
Compare Now

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