Adiantum is a large genus with 150-200 species, more or less pan(sub-)tropically distributed but with the greatest diversity in South America. With its delicate, billowing foliage Adiantum is very popular in cultivation. Page & Bennell (1986) provide a key for 16 species and cite several additional ones. According to Hoshizaki (1970) 20 species of Adiantum (including one nothospecies) are in cultivation. As a rule they are very frost-sensitive but at least two species are nevertheless increasingly found as escapes from cultivation in Belgium.

1       Mature frond pedately branched, all divisions arising from a central point === Adiantum aleuticum

         Mature frond pinnately branched === 2

2       Nerves of the segments of sterile fronds ending in the teeth of the segment margin; ultimate segments large, usually over 15 mm wide. Pseudoindusium oblong === A. capillus-veneris

         Nerves of the segments of sterile fronds ending at the sinuses of the segment margin; ultimate segments small, usually less than 10 mm wide. Pseudoindusium reniform === A. raddianum


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Page C.N. & Bennell F.M. (1986) Adiantum. In: Walters S.M. & al. (eds.), The European Garden Flora, vol. 1: 20-23. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

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Schelpe E.A.C.L.E. & Anthony N.C. (1986) Pteridophyta. In: Leistner O.A. (ed.), Flora of Southern Africa. Botanical Research Institute: XV + 292 p.

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Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith