Although this species has traditionally been interpreted as an infraspecific variant of Adiantum pedatum , the two taxa are reproductively isolated and differ in an array of morphologic characteristics. Morphologic differences between them are subtle; the two may be separated, however, by using a range of characteristics[
Adiantum pedatum aleuticum (Rupr.) Calder & Roy L.Taylor
Adiantum pedatum subpumilum Lellinger
Common Name: Western Maidenhair
Adiantum aleuticum is a deciduous fern producing a cluster of fronds 15 - 110cm tall from a shortly-creeping rhizome that, in time can form large clumps. The fronds are lax-arching to stiffly erect or pendent, often densely clustered[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials.
N. America - mainly on the western side from Alaska as far south as Mexico (Chihuahua), with a disjuct population in eastern Canada and NE USA.
Wooded ravines, shaded banks, talus slopes, serpentine barrens, and occasionally on coastal headlands; at elevations up to 3,200 metres[
|Other Uses Rating
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Prefers moist, humusy, acidic soils in full shade. Spreads slowly by creeping, branching rhizomes to form large colonies over time[
The whole plant is considered to be antirheumatic, astringent, demulcent, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, haemostatic, pectoral and tonic[
]. A tea or syrup is used in the treatment of nasal congestion, asthma, sore throats etc[
]. A strong infusion of the whole plant was has been used as an emetic in the treatment of ague and fevers[
A decoction of the root was massaged into rheumatic joints[
The N. American Indians chewed the fronds and then applied them to wounds to stop bleeding[
This plant was highly valued as a medicinal plant in the 19th century and merits scientific investigation[
Plants can be used for ground cover when planted about 30cm apart either way, they form a slowly spreading clump[
The stipe of the plant is used as an ornament in basketry[
The leaves can be used as a lining for carrying or storing fruits in baskets and on racks[
The plant is used as a hair conditioner[
]. The stems have been used as a hair wash to make the hair shiny[
Spores - best sown as soon as ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep them humid until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old and then only in a very well sheltered position.
Division in spring or autumn.