Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Mother Fern
Asplenium viviparum

Family: Aspleniaceae
Genus: Asplenium (ass-PLEE-nee-um) (Info)
Species: viviparum (vy-VIP-ar-um) (Info)

Synonym:Asplenium daucifolium
Synonym:Caenopteris vivipara

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Plant is viviparous

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

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to view:

By doss
Thumbnail #1 of Asplenium viviparum by doss

By doss
Thumbnail #2 of Asplenium viviparum by doss

By Cretaceous
Thumbnail #3 of Asplenium viviparum by Cretaceous

By sueroderus
Thumbnail #4 of Asplenium viviparum by sueroderus

By sueroderus
Thumbnail #5 of Asplenium viviparum by sueroderus


4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive sueroderus On Nov 15, 2012, sueroderus from Bluffton, SC wrote:

I have grown this plant in an outdoor planter. It survived the winter and remained evergreen in zone 8b. Last winter was mild and I do cover it when the temperatures get in the low 30's. I have potted up some seedlings and will plant them in my garden this spring to determine if this fern will be hardy here.

Positive Cretaceous On Jun 5, 2007, Cretaceous from El Sobrante, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Native to Madagascar and Mauritius.

Fairly common in nurseries locally, and does well here (in a shady spot) in zone 9b.

Positive BayAreaTropics On Nov 6, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Can reach 3-4 feet in height. Slugs and snails will eat every frond,so watch for them.Very beautiful fern when well grown.Another plant in the category of very common and inexpensive doesn't mean easy to grow!.

Positive doss On Nov 5, 2005, doss from Stanford, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Motherfern can grow in fairly dark places and can tolerate some early sun. It is evergreen in Zone 9. It's peculiar habit of growing baby ferns is quite charming and makes the plant look 'fluffy'. Babies can be cultivated by taking them off of the mother plant when they grow roots and planting them, or pinning the frond to the ground so that the baby plants are touching the ground. Highly recommended.


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

El Cerrito, California
Hayward, California
Mountain View, California
Stanford, California

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