This fern fans its leaves out wide in soft layers. The maidenhair fern may appear fragile, but don’t underestimate it: as a jungle inhabitant it can take a knock.
If there were such a thing as green layered fashion, it would be all about the maidenhair fern (scientific name: Adiantum). This fern grows in layers that beautifully filter the light, and looks best at eye level. Looking through it gives you the feeling that you’re in a fairytale forest.
Colours and shapes
The maidenhair fern is one of the most popular indoor ferns. The soft green fan-shaped leaves make the plant very strokable, and the delicate black stems that hang down in elegant curves make it very beautiful. The maidenhair fern has a very friendly look, and is available from S to XL.
The maidenhair fern is a member of the brake family, and occurs in tropical parts of South America, particularly in Brazil. There are some 250 species, of which a couple also thrive in cooler regions. The houseplant does not like the cold and loves a slightly damp environment: the kitchen and bathroom are favourite spots for the maidenhair fern.
The scientific name Adiantum derives from the Greek and means roughly ‘does not get wet’. When it rains the stems droop and the water rapidly slides off the leaves, so that the plant itself does not appear to become wet. In the symbolism of plants the maidenhair fern therefore represent purity and innocence, meanings that also recur in the ancient legend that said that someone is still a virgin if they can hold a branch of maidenhair fern without the leaves moving (which is quite tricky…).