Pellaea button fern

The button fern belongs among a group of plants that would not at first glance be counted among ferns. Spores form in strips along the leaf edges.

• Pellaea rotundifolia is the pot plant most often offered for sale out of all the 80 species. It possesses very dark, simple-feathered fronds with circular, leathery leaflets that look like a string of pearls on the scaly, dark brown leaf ribs. The plant will grow to about 20 cm (8 in) tall and is relatively robust.

• Pellaea falcate is a simple species with longish-oval feathery leaves.

• Pellaea viridis has single to tripinnate, 60 cm (24 in) long fronds with longish triangular feathers and black leaf ribs.

Group of Pellaea falcata and Didymochlaena truncatulaFamily: Sinoptendaceae.

Origin: Pellaea rotundifolia originates from New Zealand and from Norfolk Island; Pellaea falcata from southern Asia, Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand; Pellaea viridis from South Africa, Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands.

Button ferns are terrestrial or rock-dwelling plants, usually found growing in temperate to subtropical regions and also often found in dry regions.

Position: Bright to semi-shady, no direct sunlight. The plants love a cool, fresh place, like a stairway. In the winter the temperature may sink as low as 12° C (54° F). Pellaea viridis requires slightly warmer temperatures.

Care: Always keep it just slightly moist. During the winter when the temperatures are lower, water sparingly but still do not let the plant dry out. Give weak doses of fertilizer every four weeks from the first month of spring to the first month of autumn. Ensure there is good ventilation. Only repot in the spring if necessary. Use nutrient-poor compost (for example, seeding compost) and do not use pots that are too large.

Propagation: From spores or division. Pellaea rotundifolia is propagated in specialist nurseries through tissue culture.

Pests, diseases: Scale insects.

My tip: Pellaea rotundifolia will cope with dry indoor air.

01. June 2011 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: House Plants, Indoor Ferns | Tags: | Comments Off on Pellaea button fern

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