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Resurrection Fern Pleopeltis polypodioides

Previously known as:

  • Pleopeltis michauxiana
  • Polypodium polypodioides
Phonetic Spelling
plee-oh-PEL-tiss pol-ee-pod-ee-OY-deez
Description

The Resurrection Fern is an evergreen fern that is typically found growing on trees (especially leaning tree trunks and Live Oak trees), fallen logs, stumps, ledges, and rocks.  It will also grow on fence posts and buildings. Some of its host plants are live oak, elm, magnolia, and cypress.  it is considered an epiphytic plant, which is a plant that grows on another plant and dependent on that plant for support but not nutrition.  An Epiphytic plant gets moisture and nutrients from the air or from small pools of water that collect on the host plant.  It is also epipetric, meaning that it can also grow on rock.  

It is a difficult plant to get established.  During dry periods it appears to die but regains normal appearance with rain.  It spreads by creeping rhizomes.  The rhizomes are covered with lance-shaped, brown scales with ciliate margins. The fronds of this plant are curled when they're dry but rehydrate quickly in the rain. 

Its roots are fibrous.

VIDEO Created by NC State Extension's Homegrown series featuring Mark Weathington, Director of JC Raulston Arboretum.

 

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#rain garden#drought tolerant#heavy shade#wildlife plant#epiphytic#fern#low maintenance#winter interest#rabbit resistant#wind tolerant#NC native#deer resistant#fairy garden#leathery#wildflower garden#native fern#food source herbage#coastal FAC#bird friendly#mammals#Piedmont Mountains FACU#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#rain garden#drought tolerant#heavy shade#wildlife plant#epiphytic#fern#low maintenance#winter interest#rabbit resistant#wind tolerant#NC native#deer resistant#fairy garden#leathery#wildflower garden#native fern#food source herbage#coastal FAC#bird friendly#mammals#Piedmont Mountains FACU#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Pleopeltis
    Species:
    polypodioides
    Family:
    Polypodiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    S. Mexico to Tropical America
    Wildlife Value:
    Food Source
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Heavy shade, Deer
    Climbing Method:
    Clinging
    Scrambler
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 3 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 4 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Fern
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    No fruits. This plants reproduces via spores.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    No flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Fronds
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    1 to 2 in. wide, leathery fronds with 6 to 20 alternately spaced, oblong segments joined by rounded sinuses. It has a has a blunt tip. The smaller fronds are prostrate, scaly on under surface, stipe nearly one-half length of the blade
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Small Space
    Landscape Theme:
    Fairy Garden
    Native Garden
    Rain Garden
    Rock Garden
    Shade Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Attracts:
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Heavy Shade
    Wind