Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Spiny Cliffbrake
Pellaea truncata

Family: Adiantaceae
Genus: Pellaea (pe-LEE-uh) (Info)
Species: truncata (trunk-AH-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Pellaea longimucronata


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

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 Xenomorf
Thumbnail #1 of Pellaea truncata by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #2 of Pellaea truncata by Xenomorf


No positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Xenomorf On Aug 12, 2009, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This Cliff Brake has a triangular-shaped, blue-green frond with up to about 10 pairs of oval-shaped leaflets and can get up to 15" high. It grows on cliffs and in rock crevices at an elevation range of 2000-6000 ft. In Arizona it can be found at Watson Lake in Prescott and also in the Superstition Mountains amongst other places.

Neutral Cretaceous On Nov 3, 2008, Cretaceous from El Sobrante, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Native to Mexico (Baja California and Sonora), and to the south-western United States (Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, and Utah).

Neutral macybee On Jul 16, 2007, macybee from Deer Park, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

From Botanica Encyclopedia: Although hardiness varies with the species, these ferns are generally quite sun tolerant provided they do not dry out. They will grow in fairly poor soil and oftern thrive in exposed positions and hard clay that would defeat most ferns. Propagate by breaking off rooted pieces of rhizome.
Wildflowers of Tucson, Arizona: Non-Flowering, Fern, Herb, Perennial. Height to 15" tall. The triangular, bipinnately compound fronds are stiff and have varying shades of bluish green, narrowly oval leathery leaflets on dark brown petioles. The sterile fronds are shorter and less divided than the fertile fronds. This desert fern grows in rocky areas, usually in a shadow or crevice of a rock.


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

Prescott Valley, Arizona

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