Adiantum capillus-veneris L.
Southern maidenhair fern, common maidenhair fern, venus hairfern, venus’ hair, common maidenhair
Kingdom Plantae Plants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
Division Pteridophyta Ferns
Class Filicopsida “Leptosporangiate” (has to do with how their spores form) ferns—includes most ferns
Order Polypodiales Polypod ferns
Family Pteridaceae Ferns that grow on rocks (mostly)
Genus Adiantum Maidenhair ferns
Species capillus-veneris “Venus hair” fern
About plant names...
Black maidenhair fern is native to Europe, North and Central America, and Africa. It is popular as a house plant.
Identification: This fern rarely exceeds 18" (45 cm) in height, and tends to be an inconspicuous occupant in moist, shady forests. For example, the photo at right was taken near a small bubbling brook. The leaf shape, unlike that of most ferns, is quite distinctive.
Medical: Several cultures have used maidenhair fern brewed as tea to treat coughs and bronchitis. Online References:
The Hardy Fern Library
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Wildflowers, Ferns & Trees of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah
SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network References:
Foster, Steven; Duke, James A., , p. 346 Peterson Field Guides: Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants and Herbs, Houghton Mifflin, 2000
Cobb, Boughton, Farnsworth, Elizabeth & Lowe, Cheryl, , p. 55 Peterson Field Guides: Ferns of Northeastern and Central North America, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005
Older scientific or horticultural names
L. var. modestum (Underw.) Fernald
L. var. protrusum Fernald
Adiantum capillus-veneris description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.
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1 · 6/2/2009 · Zion National Park, Utah
≈ 34 × 22" (85 × 56 cm)
About this map...