Asplenium scolopendrium L.
Asplenium scolopendrium, Hart's tongue fern, is a perennial suited for shady positions.
Asplenium scolopendrium was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.
- Hart's tongue fern
- Hart's tongue
- burnt weed
- christ's hair
- horse tongue
The comparatively slow-growing perennials have a clumpforming habit and reach heights of 15 to 50 centimetres. The plants reach a width of 30 to 60 centimetres.
Asplenium scolopendrium is semi-deciduous. The dark-green, simple leaves are basal. They are linear with undulate margins. The leaves are around 40 to 50 centimetres large and have a glabrous to leathery surface.
The plants form rhizomes.
Asplenium scolopendrium is native to the whole of Europe, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, the Caucasus, northern Iran, Japan, the Canary Islands, Northwest Africa, Libya, Canada, the Northeast of the US, the central Northeast of the US, the Southeast of the US and Mexico.
The perennials prefer a half-shady situation on moist soil. The substrate should be sandy or gritty-sandy soil with a pH between 8 and 10. They tolerate temperatures down to -29Â°C (USDA zone 5). The plants are suited for natural streams.
In summer the plants prefer humid conditions. In winter the plants prefer bright light, frost-free conditions.
Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber:
- stone cracks
- woodland borders (soil usually rich in humus)
- woods (soil usually rich in organic material)
Tolerance of special soil conditions
- none: full sun, dryness of the root ball, waterlogging, dry air
Asplenium scolopendrium is considered excellent cultivar. The recommended planting distance is 30 to 40 centimetres, the perennials are best planted in groups of 3 to 15. Suited for rockeries and for mixed borders, as well as suited as cemetery plant, groundcover, container plant, cut flowers and as indoor plant.
Maintenance and Propagation
- The plants develop best if they are left to grow undisturbed.
- For healthy growth apply a compound fertilizer monthly during growth.
Propagate by division in spring.
Pests and Diseases
Scale insects that sit on the undersides of the leaves and excrete honeydew can be controlled with insecticide or biologically with parasitic wasps.
- Walter Erhardt, Erich GÃ¶tz, Nils BÃ¶deker, Siegmund Seybold: Der groÃe Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
- Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.