Ferns are an ancient type of plant, dating back over three hundred and sixty million years ago. Ferns are leafy (fronds), non-flowering plants that generally grow in very moist areas and will also tolerate some shade. Ferns reproduce through spore.
Blechnum chilense is a wonderful big strong evergreen fern from Chile. It is a really strong, bold fern with thick, leathery dark green pinnatifid fronds. They can potentially reach a height of up to 6 foot in time but more usually around 3 to 4 foot from my experience. It spreads quite easily via rhizomes and will form a dramatic impact in your garden wherever you may choose to plant it.
Blechnum cycadifolium is one of my favourite of all ferns all ferns having gone to see it in its native habitat on Robinson Crusoe Island part of the Juan Fernández archipelago back in 2005. These magnificent ferns grow on very steep hillsides and cliffs of volcanic rock, in the open, especially near the sea but up to 1,000 metres elevation.
Blechnum discolor is a lovely evergreen fern that is best suited to damp but well-drained, sheltered spot. It will cope with a wide range of conditions, including dry, frosts, and full sun to shade. It will form a small trunk in time up to about 30cm. Sends up new rhizomes to form a nice clump. Not unlike Blechnum nudum with light green, pinnatifid fronds.
Blechnum fluviatile is a really unusual evergreen fern from New Zealand that has very distinctive pinnae. The sterile green fronds, up to 50cm long, are practically horizontal with the brown sporing fronds being erect in the centre of the crown. The scales on the rachis are dark brown and very distinguishing.
Blechnum longicauda is a very exotic looking fern from Alexander Selkirk Island in the Juan Fernandez archipelago. The fronds on my ferns habve reached a length of around 60cm. Apparently they reach over 2 metres in their native habitat.
Once you have one plant you will very shortly have plenty more as they are prolific self propagaters iva the bulbils on the tip of the fronds.
Blechnum magellanicum is a very large trunked Blechnum, exclusively from Southern Chile. This is probably the largest trunked of all Blechnums. Very old, mature plants can have trunks of up to 1.7 metres in their native habitat in Chile. This dramatic fern should ot to be confused with Blechnum chilense which are easy to differeniate when seen together.
Blechnum novae-zelandiae is a medium to large ground fern, with once-divided fronds. Like most Blechnums, the sterile and spore-producing fertile fronds look markedly different. The segments of the fertile fronds are very narrow and black or brown. It is only found in New Zealand and is one of the most common ferns there.
Blechnum nudum is a wonderful fern that is a great addition to any fernery. Blechnum nudum forms an erect, rounded clump with a small black fibrous trunk up to 30cm, spreading by rhizome to form large colonies over time. Like many of the Blechnum species, the sporing fronds are markedly different in shape to the vegetative fronds.
Blechnum penna-marina is an evergreen fern forming a mat of spreading, simply pinnate, dark green sterile fronds to 15cm in length, with narrower, erect fertile fronds, the young fronds often reddish.
Blechnun spicant is a wonderful hardy, good looking evergreen native fern. For anyone looking for a safe bet and a great looking fern at a reasnoble cost this is the one I would highly recommend. Also very adaptable to most conditions. Will tolerate shade and wet conditions in lime-free soil.
Blechnum tabulare gets it’s name after Table Mountain in South Africa. This is a fabulous evergreen fern with very strong pinnate, thick leathery fronds. These can reach a size of 3 foot when the plant is mature. It will form a trunk in time up to 2 to 3 feet after many years but like the rest of the other Blechnum species it is not considered a true tree fern.
Dryopteris wallichiana is a semi-evergreen fern, forming tufts of erect, lance-shaped, bipinnatifid fronds, bright yellowish-green when young, clothed with blackish-brown scales on the stalk and midrib.
Lophosoria quadripinnata is a very graceful fern with soft foliage. Fronds are triangular, tripinnate-pinnatifid with very leathery stipe. The mature undersides of the lamina are a silvery glaucous blue which is very striking. It would appear to be suitable in my experience to open, windy positions. Also it can be used to good effect on banks.
Pteris wallichiana is a very exotic looking fern from the Himalaya region. Being a member of the Pteridaceae family this wonderful fern will spread via rhizome quite easily. Whilst similar to our native bracken in its physical appearance it is far more exotic looking with lovely dark brown stipes with large dark green fronds. The fronds can reach a height of 180 to 2 metres.
Todea barbara, being from the Osmundaceae family does best in or near water in damp ground. Still a rare fern in cultivation.
Fronds are bipinnate, forms a large fibrous trunk over time. Evergreen in milder parts but will defoliate in freezing conditions.
Another must to try if you have the right conditions for this lovely fern.
Woodwardia unigemmata is a wonderful fern. As with all the Woodwardia genus these ferns have large arching evergreen fronds up to 120cm in length. But the red hew growth on the emerging juvenile fronds is simply amazing in it’s vibrancy.