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Swamp fern, Toothed midsorus fern
Blechnum serrulatum

Copyright by: George D. Gann

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also useful as an accent groundcover along pond and lake edges and other moist to wet sites.

Ecological Restoration Notes: A relatively common understory herb in freshwater swamps throughout South Florida; occasional in freshwater marshes, prairies and wet hammocks.

Availability: Native plant nurseries.

Description: Medium to large herbaceous fern with erect fronds.

Dimensions: Typically 2-4 feet in height. Spreading from underground stems (rhizomes) and forming large, sometimes very dense, patches.

Growth Rate: Fast.

Range: Florida from the Panhandle south to Miami-Dade County and the Monroe County mainland; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Swamps, marshes, wet prairies and wet hammocks.

Soils: Wet to moist, poorly-drained to moderately well-drained organic soils.

Nutritional Requirements: High; requires rich organic soils for optimal growth.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

Drought Tolerance: Low; requires moist to wet soils and is intolerant of long periods of drought.

Light Requirements: Light shade to moderate shade or full sun.

Flower Color: N/A.

Flower Characteristics: There are no flowers; the plants reproduce by spores.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Inconspicuous spores.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from division and spores.

Comments: An excellent understory fern in a wide variety of wet situations, but can spread aggressively in the right conditions.

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: Susan Trammell

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Blechnum serrulatum available from:

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