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Crested Hart's Tongue Fern

Phyllitis scolopendrium 'Cristata'

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Crested Hart's Tongue Fern (Phyllitis scolopendrium 'Cristata') at Canadale Nurseries

Crested Hart's Tongue Fern foliage

Crested Hart's Tongue Fern foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  24 inches

Spread:  12 inches

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  5b

Other Names:  syn. Asplenium scolopendrium cristatum

Description:

This variety produces rosettes of deep green glossy foliage that are narrow and crinkled; ideal for containers or as groundcover

Ornamental Features

Crested Hart's Tongue Fern's attractive glossy narrow leaves remain dark green in color throughout the season. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Crested Hart's Tongue Fern is an herbaceous fern with a shapely form and gracefully arching fronds. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

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

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

Planting & Growing

Crested Hart's Tongue Fern will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years.

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone over the growing season to conserve soil moisture. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Crested Hart's Tongue Fern is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. It can be used either as 'filler' or as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, depending on the height and form of the other plants used in the container planting. 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 Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Massing  Edging  Garden  Container  Basket 
Applications
Foliage Color  Texture  Plant Form 
Ornamental Features