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Pacific Plant Promotions: Adiantum xmairisii

Articles: Pacific Plant Promotions: Adiantum xmairisii

Mairis’s maidenhair (Adiantum x mairisii). Author’s photograph

The delicate foliage of a fern adds a softness and grace to any garden. Maidenhair ferns (Adiantum species), in particular, are known for the beauty of their fine lacy fronds. According to Thomas Moore in his The Nature-Printed British Ferns (1863):

The name Adiantum is a Latinized form of the Greek adianton, derived from adiantos, dry or unmoistened, and seems to apply to a property possessed by these plants of repelling water from the surface of the fronds, so that they cannot easily be wetted.

Unfortunately, most Adiantum species are tropical and are only reliable in the frost-free garden or as a container plant to be protected in the winter. So, it is exciting when a new winter-hardy species becomes available. Mairis’s maidenhair (A. xmairisii), is a rare hybrid, first raised before 1885 in Mairis & Co’s nursery in England. Author Thomas Moore, a well-known Victorian fern collector and curator of the Chelsea Physic Garden during the height of Pteridomania, named the hybrid in the latter half of the 1800s. Mairis’s maidenhair is a ste...

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