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PlantFiles: Smooth Cliffbrake
Pellaea glabella

Family: Adiantaceae
Genus: Pellaea (pe-LEE-uh) (Info)
Species: glabella (gla-BEL-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Pellaea glabella subsp. glabella


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From spores

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By bottlegreen
Thumbnail #1 of Pellaea glabella by bottlegreen

By bottlegreen
Thumbnail #2 of Pellaea glabella by bottlegreen


1 positive
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive bottlegreen On May 9, 2010, bottlegreen from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

A lovely, interesting little fern, native to much of the northeast and midwest. In nature, it grows out of rock crevices and cracks in walls, as long as the substrate is alkaline. It is hard to establish in a garden, however. Plant it in a mixture of topsoil, sand, and gravel, and place the rootball between two slabs of limestone rocks. Definitely not an eye-catcher; more of a curiosity.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Saint Paul, Minnesota

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