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Native Ferns


South Florida is home to many different native ferns.  Although, many of our "natives" are 
exotics that have become naturalized.  However, they are still considered in the overall 
count of the pteridophyte species of South Florida.

Many growers cultivate at least one native species.  There are terrestrial species such as Adiantum tenerum which is extremely popular or one of the Tectaria species, either Tectaria heracleifolium or T. incisa, which also appeals to fern growers.  While we boast of no official 
tree fern, Ctenitis sloanei, actually a member of the Dryopteris group, fits the bill nicely. 

The Thelypteris genus thrives in South Florida, as well as Blechnum species.

 Nephrolepis ferns  have also made an important impact here in the tropics..  One species, Nephrolepis exaltata even went on to be the star of the lot.  This is where all of those Boston Ferns come from.  Yes, the Boston Fern is a Florida native.

There are some native species that are not as stellar as the Boston Ferns,  these include the 
very handsome Meniscium species or the Acrostichum (or Leather Ferns).

There are also some dramatic epiphytic ferns such as Campyloneurum phyllitidis or the rarely seen Ophioglossum palmatum (syn Cheiroglossum palmatum and Ophioderma palmata), 
which prefers cabbage palms on which to perch.  Epiphytic ferns are not parasitic and take 
no nutrients from their host plants.