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Adiantum capillus-veneris L.

Southern maidenhair fern, common maidenhair fern, venus hairfern, venus’ hair, common maidenhair

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
ClassFilicopsida“Leptosporangiate” (has to do with how their spores form) ferns—includes most ferns
OrderPolypodialesPolypod ferns
FamilyPteridaceaeFerns that grow on rocks (mostly)
GenusAdiantumMaidenhair ferns
Speciescapillus-veneris“Venus hair” fern

About plant names...

Black maidenhair fern is native to Europe, North and Central America, and Africa. It is popular as a house plant.

Identification: This fern rarely exceeds 1½′ (45 cm) in height, and tends to be an inconspicuous occupant in moist, shady forests. For example, the photo at right was taken near a small bubbling brook. The leaf shape, unlike that of most ferns, is quite distinctive.

Medical: Several cultures have used maidenhair fern brewed as tea to treat coughs and bronchitis.

Online References:



The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants


Wildflowers, Ferns & Trees of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah


SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network


Foster, Steven; Duke, James A., Peterson Field Guides: Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants and Herbs, Houghton Mifflin, 2000, p. 346

Cobb, Boughton, Farnsworth, Elizabeth & Lowe, Cheryl, Peterson Field Guides: Ferns of Northeastern and Central North America, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005, p. 55

Unknown Reference!

Adiantum capillus-veneris L. var. modestum (Underw.) Fernald

Adiantum capillus-veneris L. var. protrusum Fernald

Adiantum modestum Underw.


Adiantum capillus-veneris description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Adiantum capillus-veneris (southern maidenhair fern, common maidenhair fern, venus hairfern, venus’ hair, common maidenhair)

1 · 6/2/2009 · Zion National Park, Utah · ≈ 2½ × 1½′ (85 × 56 cm)


About this map...