Adiantum hispidulum (ADIANTACEAE) Rough Maidenhair Fern

Plants to Plant

Clumping fern of rainforests, watercourses and shady eucalypt areas. Fronds will grow to over 30 cm tall. Widespread fern in both rainforest and eucalypt areas in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory. Also occurs outside of Australia. The genus name comes from the Greek, meaning not wetting, referring to the fronds’ ability to shed water without becoming wet. Hispidulum covered with coarse hairs, referring to the hairy stems. A well-known genus of ferns, commonly known as maidenhairs. There are about 200 species worldwide, around nine native to Australia. Performs best in soils containing appreciable organic matter with plenty of moisture. Propagation by division of the rhizome or spores.

Photo: Robert Whyte


Young fronds are usually pink or red and mature to green or a green-bronze colour branched with fan-shaped pinnules (leaf segments) and a rough texture. A very tough maidenhair in warmer regions (frost tender). Pinnules are more angular that those of common maidenhair. Fronds more obviously palmate (spreading like the fingers of a hand).

Photo: Robert Whyte