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(Southern Maidenhair Fern)
Pteridaceae. Synonyms: Adiantaceae, Aspidiaceae, Polypodiaceae.
(Male Fern Family)
This delicate fern is widespread in the world and is found in the United States across the southern tier of states from California to the Carolinas. In the Four Corners area it ranges from not present to rare to relatively common. It is most often found in and near seeps.
Serrated and fan-shaped pinnae (the individual leaflets) descend from a purple rachis in a patchwork of green. The rachis can be straight or, as shown here, it can zigzag. In either case, the terminal pinnae are single and the lower pinnae are cut again into pinnules (click to see).
Adiantum capillus-veneris was named and described by Linnaeus in 1753. "Adiantum" means "unwetted, shedding raindrops", "capillus" is Latin for "hair", and "veneris" is Latin for "pertaining to Venus". See the excellent Cal Names for an alternative definition for Capillus-veneris.
Range map © John Kartesz,
Species present in state and native
County Color Key
Species present and not rare
Range map for Adiantum capillus-veneris