Boston Fern…A Tale of Three Cities

My favorite botanical author sharing his thoughts on our native ferns

Treasure Coast Natives

Nephrolepis exaltata


The weekly Friday field trip got swatted down by waiting for the nice repair man in my kitchen as I write. So I’ll back the camera up to a fun green Wednesday meeting with the Broward Co. Native Plant Society at the Secret Woods Nature Center in Ft. Lauderdale.

A great part of “botanizing farther south” is more ferns.   A dominant species at Secret Woods is Boston Fern, not that it is rare up here in Palm Beach County.    But why is it called Boston Fern?  (Be patient, we are getting to that.)  Boston Fern was once a huge single-species industry, interestingly dating back to the turn of the 20th Century orgy of unfettered exotic plant introductions.     Sort of ironic that a pillar of the early Florida nursery industry was a native.    I grew up with a big one hanging from the fireplace mantle.

Nephrolepis exaltata 1 Today’s pictures by…

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6 comments on “Boston Fern…A Tale of Three Cities

  1. Interesting. I have some kind of Sword Ferns which I have to pull up by the garage can load. They are great for pots as they will not go anywhere.


  2. Chloris says:

    They are house plants here, how lovely to be able to grow them outside. I love ferns.


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