by Courtesy Asplenium Study Group
Common name: - hen and
Hen & Chicken Fern
(In most cases, the plant will be the New Zealand species)\
is a fern species native to
Zealand, it is also called a
'hen and chicken' fern
and grows small
on top of their fronds. Once grown to about 5 cm (2 in), these
offsprings fall off of the main plant and provided the soil they land in is kept
moist, they develop a root system and then grow on into a new ferns. This additional means of reproduction is
much easier to use for
propagation than by using the spores. The 'hen and chicken' fern commonly
grows in most bush areas in New Zealand and is also commercially
grown and sold. This plant thrives in many different situations from shade to
partial sunlight and this plant is also suitable and very popular as an indoor plant
specimen, growing in many different areas around the garden, including areas with low
to poor light.
(from Dobie and Crooks: New Zealand Ferns)
rhizome is short and stout and can be erect and/or oblique and is crowned with
brown scales. It has stipes 100mm to 300mm long or more, dark brown below, greyish green above, densely
scaly at the base. The fronds are 300mm to 1.2 Metres long or more by 150mm to 300mm broad, bright green, firm, almost succulent, upright or drooping, proliferous.
The sori is short, oblique, oblong, on the disc of the shortly lobed pinnules but often marginal in the segment of the more deeply divided ones.
pinnule segments not rounded, sori not marginal.
This variety is separated from the typical form by the darker green more membranous frond, dissected pirinae with rounded segments and (usually) by the absence of bulbils. Its rhizome scales are smaller with uniformly thickened walls.
The indusium is incrassate (having thickened cell walls) thus reminding one of the shore spleenwort.
fronds ample, thrice pinnate,
pinnules and segments narrow, resembling some forms of
Asplenium flaccidum, but thinner in texture and more compound. Sori marginal on the segments. Bulbils produced sparingly.
Usually epiphytic on tree fern trunks in dense dark rain forest in N. Z. In Australia the plant is always
epiphytic. Vic., Tas., N. S. W., N. Z., in cool temperate rain forest.
In the ground, normally or in pots indoors, coarse soil, in acid or alkaline soils,
sensitive to overwatering and rot in winter. Plant in filtered shade in a sheltered position with morning sun. The plant is not cold sensitive
and appreciates organic fertiliser.
bulbils (though slow and hard).