Adiantum is a large genus with 150-200 species, more or less pan(sub-)tropically distributed but with the greatest diversity in South America. With its delicate, billowing foliage Adiantum is very popular in cultivation. Page & Bennell (1986) provide a key for 16 species and cite several additional ones. According to Hoshizaki (1970) 20 species of Adiantum (including one nothospecies) are in cultivation. As a rule they are very frost-sensitive but at least two species are nevertheless increasingly found as escapes from cultivation in Belgium.

Nerves of the segments of sterile fronds ending in the teeth of the segment margin; ultimate segments large, usually over 15 mm wide. Pseudoindusium oblong === 1. Adiantum capillus-veneris

Nerves of the segments of sterile fronds ending at the sinuses of the segment margin; ultimate segments small, usually less than 10 mm wide. Pseudoindusium reniform === 2. A. raddianum


Guillot Ortiz D., Mateo Sanz G. & Rosselló Picornell A. (2006) Claves para la pteridoflora ornamental de la Comunidad Valenciana. Bouteloua 1: 25-33. [available online at:]

Hoshizaki B.J. (1970) The genus Adiantum in cultivation (Polypodiaceae). Baileya 17: 97-191.

Page C.N. & Bennell F.M. (1986) Adiantum. In: Walters S.M. & al. (eds.), The European Garden Flora, vol. 1: 20-23. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Pryer K.M., Huiet L., Li F.W., Rothfels C.J. & Schuettpelz E. (2016) Maidenhair Ferns, Adiantum, are Indeed Monophyletic and Sister to Shoestring Ferns, Vittarioids. Syst. Bot. 41(1): 17-23. [available online at:

Schelpe E.A.C.L.E. & Anthony N.C. (1986) Pteridophyta. In: Leistner O.A. (ed.), Flora of Southern Africa. Botanical Research Institute: XV + 292 p.

Verloove F., van der Ham R. & Denters T. (2007) Exotische muurvarens in België en Nederland. Dumortiera 92: 1-16. [available online at:]

Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith