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Woodwardia radicans
  • RHS AGM

European chain fern

a robust evergreen fern with arching, ovate, bipinnately divided fronds to 1.5m long, bearing bulbils on the underside towards the tips

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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
1.5–2.5 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H3
Botanical details
Family
Blechnaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Woodwardia are robust rhizomatous ferns with deciduous or evergreen, pinnate to bipinnate fronds, bearing spores in chain-like lines on the undersides

Name status

Correct

Plant range
E Europe

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in neutral, moderately fertile damp soil in partial shade; in frost prone areas shelter from cold, drying winds and protect in winter with a dry mulch

Propagation

Propagate by spores, sow spores at 16°C (61°F) in late summer or early autumn; remove bulbils in autumn or divide in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

Cut down old fronds when they deteriorate

Pests

Generally trouble free

Diseases

Generally trouble free

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