Giant Chain Fern (Woodwardia fimbriata)





Woodwardia fimbriata

Woodwardia fimbriata (Giant Chain Fern – name came from shape and arrangements of sori visible on both sides of fronds). Native to California moist Woodlands (grows from British Columbia to Mexico), Zones 4-9, Sunset 14-24. Evergreen in temperate zones 8-9, Sunset 14-24. This large-scale fern with strong silhouette has upright or spreading somewhat coarse pinnate-pinnatifid fronds reaching up to 9 ft in wild (3-4 ft on average seen in landscapes of inland Bay Area). Dappled shade under conifers or other big trees along the brook or pond – ideal setting for this fern, could take more deep shade, protect from afternoon sun. Other uses – under overhang, foundation planting, specimen, tropical or woodland landscape. No pests or diseases given the right location and condition – need moist acidic soil with rich organic content, mulch with well rotted compost or leaves molt to enrich the soil and preserve the moisture. Ferns are very sensitive to fertilizers – never use synthetic, if you feel like it need some – aged compost or light concentration of fish emulsion would be the right approach. Trim the dried last year fronds in spring to make it nice and tidy.

Plant profile summery:

Name Woodwardia fimbriata (Giant Chain Fern)
Zone/ Sunset Zone 4-9, Sunset  14-24
Type: Perennial
Size/shape: 3 x 5 ft, somewhat coarse texture, could be upright or spreading.
Life Span: Medium
Foliage/ Flower/ Fruits Type/ Color Evergreen in temperate zones, deep green.
Sun/ wind Exposure: Shade/ part shade inland BA, no salt spray.
Water requirements: Moist, never let it dry, mulch heavily to preserve the moisture
Soil requirements: Acidic to slightly acidic, plenty of organic matter, mulch heavily to preserve the moisture
Use: Under-story, Moist woodland planting, Overhang, entryways, foundation planting, specimen or container planting, Groundcover under big trees, Tropical landscape, around ponds and creeks
Attractions – special features: Evergreen in BA, deer resistant, can grow in full shade!
Pests / Diseases: N/A,
Trimming Spring to cut dried last year fronds and tidy up
Caution: N/A