Nephrolepis exaltata

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Wild Boston Fern


Plant Specifics

Size:to 1 to 1.5 ft, spreads broadly by rhisomes
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:NA
Fruit Color:NA
Noted for:Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses:Groundcover especially in shady moist areas. Spreads by rhizomes.
Considerations:This can be aggressive. Be careful to plant it where you can contain it.
Availability:Friends, Native nurseries
Light: Part Shade,  Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry)
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Clay, Loam, Organic material (muck), Sand
Soil pH:Acidic


Native Habitats:Wet-dry sites. Swamps, hammocks, yards.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:Very similar in appearance to several non-natives which are invasive pests, esp. N. cordifolia. If there are spherical tubers amongst the roots, it's N. cordifolia, the invasive tuberous swordfern.  In this vein, it appears that herbarium specimens from further north than indicated on our map have been reclassified as something other than N. exaltata.  We do not show those areas on our map.