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Hart's Tongue Fern

Phyllitis scolopendrium

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Hart's Tongue Fern (Phyllitis scolopendrium) at Cole's Florist & Garden Centre

Hart's Tongue Fern foliage

Hart's Tongue Fern foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  24 inches

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6b

Other Names:  Asplenium scolopendrium

Description:

This variety is unusual in that it has simple, undivided fronds that are up to 2 feet long; yellowish and stunted in full sun; luxurious green foliage is a welcome addition to the garden as a groundcover

Ornamental Features

Hart's Tongue Fern's attractive glossy narrow leaves remain green in colour throughout the year. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Hart's Tongue Fern is an herbaceous evergreen fern with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Hart's Tongue Fern is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Hart's Tongue Fern will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Hart's Tongue Fern is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Edging  Garden  Container 
Applications
Foliage Color  Texture  Plant Form 
Ornamental Features