Nephrolepis exaltata
Boston Fern
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Filicinae
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Lomariopsidaceae
Genus: Nephrolepis
Species: N. exaltata
Binomial name
Nephrolepis exaltata
(L.) Schott

The Sword Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) is a species of fern in the family Lomariopsidaceae (sometimes treated in the families Davalliaceae or Oleandraceae, or in its own family, Nephrolepidaceae), native to tropical regions throughout the world. It is common in humid forests and swamps, especially in northern South America, Mexico, Central America, Florida, the West Indies, Polynesia and Africa. Also known as the Wild Boston fern, Tuber ladder fern or Fishbone fern is in the broader family of sword fern.

The fronds are 50-250 cm long and 6-15 cm broad, with alternate pinnae (the small "leaflets" on either side of the midrib), each pinna being 2-8 cm long. The pinnae are generally deltoid, as seen in the picture to the right. The pinnate vein pattern is also visible on these highly compound leaves. The edges appear slightly serrate. The species has erect fronds, but Nephrolepis exaltata cv. Bostoniensis (Boston Fern), the most commonly cultivated cultivar, has gracefully arching fronds. This mutation was discovered in a shipment of N. exaltata to Boston from Philadelphia in 1894.[1]

Cultivation and uses

The Boston fern is a very popular house plant, often grown in hanging baskets or similar conditions. It is a perennial plant hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 9-11. Although the fern may appear totally dead due to frost, it will re-emerge in the spring. In general, the Boston fern likes damp, but not soggy soil that is rich in nutrients. Of the common cultivated ferns, the Boston fern is the most tolerant to drought. The fern thrives best in humid conditions, so when grown as a house plant it becomes necessary to mist the plant when relative humidity falls below around 80%. Although outdoors this plant prefers partial shade or full shade, inside it grows best in bright filtered light. This plant is usually propagated by division of the rooted runners, as named cultivars will not produce true spores.

Boston fern is native to Florida, the West Indies, and Asian Pacific. A related species, the Tuberous Sword fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia), is frequently confused with Boston fern and is a serious exotic invasive plant, forming dense monocultures.

Wild Boston fern growing in Leon County, Florida
Wild Boston fern growing along a woodland path in Leon County, Florida

References


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  • Nephrolepis exaltata — Nephrolepis exaltata …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Nephrolepis exaltata — – als Zimmerpflanze Systematik Farne Klasse: Echte F …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nephrolepis exaltata — Nephrolepis exaltata …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Nephrolepis exaltata —   Nephrolepis Nephrolep …   Wikipedia Español

  • Nephrolepis exaltata — ilgalapis inkstpapartis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Inkstpapartinių šeimos dekoratyvinis augalas (Nephrolepis exaltata), paplitęs atogrąžose. atitikmenys: lot. Nephrolepis exaltata angl. Boston fern; Boston sword fern; common swordfern; …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Nephrolepis exaltata — noun a sword fern with arching or drooping pinnate fronds; a popular houseplant • Syn: ↑Boston fern, ↑Nephrolepis exaltata bostoniensis • Hypernyms: ↑sword fern …   Useful english dictionary

  • Nephrolepis exaltata — ID 56100 Symbol Key NEEX Common Name Boston swordfern Family Dryopteridaceae Category Fern Division Pteridophyta US Nativity Native to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution AZ, FL, HI, LA, PR, TX, VI Growth Habit Forb/herb …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • Nephrolepis exaltata bostoniensis — noun a sword fern with arching or drooping pinnate fronds; a popular houseplant • Syn: ↑Boston fern, ↑Nephrolepis exaltata • Hypernyms: ↑sword fern …   Useful english dictionary

  • Nephrolepis exaltata ssp. exaltata — ID 56101 Symbol Key NEEXE Common Name Boston swordfern Family Dryopteridaceae Category Fern Division Pteridophyta US Nativity Native to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution AZ, FL, LA, PR, TX, VI Growth Habit Forb/herb …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • Nephrolepis exaltata ssp. hawaiiensis — ID 56102 Symbol Key NEEXH Common Name N/A Family Dryopteridaceae Category Fern Division Pteridophyta US Nativity Native to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution HI Growth Habit Forb/herb Duration …   USDA Plant Characteristics

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