Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Polypodium californicum
California Polypody – Polypodium californicum
Family: Polypodiaceae (Polypody Fern family)
Native to: Coastal CA to Baja; cliffs and soil on rocky slopes, shaded canyons, streambanks, northfacing slopes, roadcuts, and coastal bluffs. Usually in grows in moist rock crevices or seeps.
creeping perennial fern mature height: to 20 in. mature width: 25 in.
Summer-deciduous perennial fern, spreading by rhizomes. Leaves blades are deltate to ovate and
are pinnately compound (many leaflets). Can die back completely in summer,
No true flowers. Round clusters of spores called sori (singular: sorus) that line the
undersides in two long rows.
Uses in the garden: Delicate, small scale fern for foreground rock walls, as a bank cover in the
shade and in mossy rock gardens. Can grow on almost anything as long as it is vertical: rotting
logs, rock faces, even on the bark of living trees. Excellent under oaks or in shaded beds. Adds an
old-fashioned or woodsy look to any garden.
Sensible substitute for: Non-native ferns, including non-native Polypody ferns.
Attracts: Browse for wildlife.
Part shade to full shade; tolerates more sun than most native CA ferns
Any texture from sandy to clay, as long as it is well-drained; does not tolerate alkali
Need wet feet in winter and early spring, then need to dry out in summer, fall
Easy in the correct location. Don’t over-water in summer – needs dormant period.
Remove spent fronds for aesthetics.
Propagation: from spores: yes - challenging
yes, in fall/winter
Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 19
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