Pteris bahamensis

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Bahama Brake Fern, Pineland Brake Fern


Plant Specifics

Size:1-2 ft, spreads horizontally by rhisomes
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:NA
Fruit Color:NA
Noted for:Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses:Grows in clumps. Unusual in that it thrives in high light, but needs moist soil.
Considerations:Needs periodic removal of old fronds -- cut the clumps back in winter or early spring.
Light: Full Sun,  Part 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:Humus (organic, upland), Lime rock
Soil pH:Alkaline


Native Habitats:Pine rockland, sinkhole (edges). On limestone.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10B 11 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:

Bahama ladder brake hybridizes with the non-native and invasive China brake (P. vittata) forming Delchamps' ladder brake (P. x delchampsii). Bahama ladder break is threatened with extinction due to this hybridization. Because of this, we do not recommend planting Bahama ladder break -- if we plant it and there is any China brake around, we exacerbate the problem. When you find this plant in nature, please enjoy it there.

Listed as threatened by the state of Florida.