Cystopteris bulbifera

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Plant types and subtypes: Ferns

Light Requirements: part-shade, shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: neutral, average, poor, loam, gravel/rock

Height: 1'-2'

Leaf Color: green, lime-green

Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: colonizing, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, rock garden plant, shade garden plant, woodland plant

Cystopteris bulbifera (bulblet bladderfern)
  • Cystopteris bulbifera (bulblet bladderfern)
  • Cystopteris bulbifera (bulblet bladderfern)
  • Cystopteris bulbifera (bulblet bladderfern)
  • Cystopteris bulbifera (bulblet bladderfern)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Cystopteris bulbifera

Also known as:

bulblet bladderfern

,

bulblet fern

,

bulblet bladder fern

Scientific Synonyms:

Filix bulbifera

Description

Cystopteris bulbifera produces distinctive bulblets on the underside of the leaves of mature plants. This feature, to which it owes its specific epithet and common name, is one of this fern's means of reproduction in addition to its production of spores. These bulblets can grow up to 1/2" in diameter, and will sometimes even begin to develop fronds, before dropping from the mother plant. Under favorable conditions, they will quickly root and produce new plants. The leaves are typically 2' long, but can exceed 3' under ideal conditions. The leaves are bright green, with purple stems that turn green as they mature. The overall shape of the plant is dense, irregular, and delicate.

Cultivation

Bulblet bladderfern prefers a shaded location, with consistent moisture. It is adapted to poor, rocky, well-drained soils. In its natural habitat, it is often found growing through limestone rocky crags. It does not require high levels of acidity, however, a layer of humus will help maintain the humidity it requires. Under favorable conditions, it will readily naturalize via bulblets, and spread vegetatively by its fibrous and rhizomatous root system. A very cold-hardy species. Zones 3-8

Propagation

Can be propagated by clump division in early spring. The production of bulblets offers a second, easy method of propagation.

Additional Notes

This a very attractive, and easy to grow fern. Although it will spread under ideal conditions, it is not aggressive, and can be out-competed by other plants, particularly if the environment is very rich.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, AZ, CT, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WI, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Exploitably Vulnerable: NY

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Seed plants
Division Pteridophyta Ferns
Class Filicopsida
Subclass
Order Polypodiales
Family Dryopteridaceae Wood Fern family
Genus Cystopteris bladderfern
Species Cystopteris bulbifera bulblet bladderfern