Asplenium trichomanes

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: maidenhair spleenwort 
Type: Fern
Family: Aspleniaceae
Native Range: Northern temperate areas, tropical mountains
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 0.33 to 0.66 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Leaf: Evergreen
Tolerate: Shallow-Rocky Soil


Best grown in evenly moist, humusy, well-draining soils in part to full shade. Prefers rocky conditions and does well planted in the cracks and crevices of a rock wall. Very low maintenance once established and will naturalize with the proper growing conditions. Propagate by spores or through division in spring. Hardy in Zones 5-8.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Asplenium trichomanes, commonly called maidenhair spleenwort, is a rhizomatous, evergreen fern found on moist, shaded, rocky slopes, screes, and cliffs in much of temperate North America, Central America, Europe, and Asia. The fronds can reach approximately 8" long and have pairs of small, round pinnae (leaflets) on a glossy, dark brown rachis (leaf stem). Mature plants take on an upright to gently arching habit, with the fronds emerging from a shallow-rooted, stout rhizome. Will slowly spread from offsets and form small colonies to fill a 1' area.

The genus name Asplenium comes from the Greek and means "without a spleen", possibly in reference to the belief that certain species of this plant could treat problems of the spleen.

The specific epithet trichomanes comes from the Greek philosopher, natural historian, and botanist Theophrastus (c. 371-c. 287 BCE). His name for this plant means "lacking hairs", possibly in reference to the undersides of the pinnae where the sori (spore-releasing structures) are located. Some species of Asplenium have hairs along this surface, but maidenhair spleenwort does not.


No major pests or diseases of note.


Suitable for use on the north sides of rock walls, crevices, rock gardens, moss gardens, and containers.