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Netted Chain Fern
The netted chain fern is a native growing perennial that can be found in any low-lying wetland area. Its native habitat is swampy, shaded forest floors and the fern makes a perfect addition to home water gardens and xeriscapes that encompasses a low-lying area that stays consistently wet. The plant name comes from the veins on the fronds that create a chain-like pattern. The fronds also have marginal teeth. The plant can also be successfully grown as a potted houseplant when planted in a large container, kept away from direct sunlight and watered frequently.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Woodwardia areolata
USDA Climate Zone: Hardy in zones 3-9
Plant Height: 18-24 inches
Plant Spread: Three feet
Soil Type: Moist soil and wetlands, grows well in brackish water
Sun: Full to partial shade
Netted chain ferns are perennials that spread via underground rhizomes and spores found under the fronds. Non-flowering, easy-care plants are best used to naturalize a wetland area. The plants spread quickly under the right growing conditions and help to prevent erosion along coastal edges and swamp margins. With no natural pest or disease problems, their fast growing habits can make them an invasive plant if left unchecked. To keep the netted chain fern under control, dig up the ferns and rhizomes as needed. Pots of netted chain ferns can be partially sunk around the edge of ponds to add beauty while keeping the plant under control.
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