Woodwardia areolata (Netted Chain Fern) Unity Grown
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Woodwardia areolata, commonly called netted chain fern, is a deciduous native fern that thrives in moist shady environments like woodland swamps. Growing to one or two feet tall with relatively wide, smooth fronds, netted chain fern serves as an excellent ornamental fern for wetter locations.
Tolerant of heavy shade and perpetually wet, acidic soils, Woodwardia areolata is also resistant to deer browsing and brackish soils, making it a hardy choice for any wetland area. Given the right conditions, this species will form large colonies by way of thin rhizomatic roots, making it an ideal choice for shady beds, moist woods, bog gardens, and near ponds or streams.
Additionally, Woodwardia areolata is a dimorphic fern, meaning that its sterile fronds have a wide, ornamental appearance, and its reproductive fronds have a narrow, crinkled appearance, adding texture and appeal to any location; you can see the difference between these fronds in the second photo.