(Wavy Cloak Fern)Astrolepis is a genus of 8 fern species native to the Americas and the West Indies. The name Astrolepis comes from the Greek "astro" and "lepis" meaning "star-scale". Under a microscope you will see distinctly star-shaped scales on the upper surface of the fronds. Like its close cousins cheilanthes and notholaena, astrolepis is a sun fern that grows on rocks in exposed sites. Given its native abode, you'd be right in guessing that astrolepis is not like most ferns. Astrolepis ferns prefer a dry site to a moist one and cannot tolerate poorly draining winter moist soils. Astrolepis leaves (fronds) are quite toxic, so deer and rabbits do not eat them.
Although Astrolepis fronds like sun and can tolerate heat, the roots prefer to be in shade such as under a rock or in a crack in a boulder, so siting this fern properly is important to its survival. Try tucking Astrolepis ferns into a stone wall or grow them in a rock garden. Astrolepis will also do well in a container on the patio as long as the soil is well-drained and temperatures remain above the low 20's F. When you're ready to buy astrolepis ferns for your perennial garden, we hope you'll check out our online list of astrolepis for sale.
Plant Delights Nursery has a huge collection of over 1000 ferns planted in our garden. We also have one of the largest and most esoteric selections of ferns for sale in the US. If you are looking for unusual ferns, Plant Delights should be your first stop. Providing beauty and texture to the garden, ferns are great garden plants and a staple of a well designed garden.