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More Information About Cystopteris

Cystopteris is a genus of temperate deciduous ferns with a worldwide distribution. Although they have a wide variety of forms and shapes, these ferns are generally low growing and have a delicate frond structure. Not counting the man-made or natural hybrids (of which there are many), there are about 20 species of cystopteris, 12 of which are native to the US. These ferns are rhizomatous creepers that form loose tufts of foliage over time. Cystopteris is an easy to grow, rabbit-resistant plant and like most ferns it prefers part shade and even moisture. In the wild, Cystopteris grows in rocky and hilly locations and so in the garden it prefers a soil that is loose and well-drained. Some species of cystopteris are ephemeral in nature; the fronds arise early in the spring and are gone by the time the heat of summer arrives.

The name cystopteris comes from two ancient Greek words. "Kystos", meaning "bladder", describes the structure (indusium) which is puffed like a bladder and covers the spores on the underside of the frond. "Pteris", from "pteron", meaning "wing", was used by the Greeks to designate all ferns (e.g. dryopteris, thelypteris). Try combining this fern with other delicate shade growers such as phlox, heuchera, anemonella and petite hostas. In the wild, Cystopteris is often found growing with aquilegia, mahonia, and verbascum, making these also great companions for cystopteris in your garden. Try growing bladder fern in the crevices of a loose stacked stone wall. It will look fantastic and feel right at home. When you are ready to buy cystopteris for your garden, check out our online list of cystopteris for sale.