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Pellaea (Cliff Brake)

More Information About Pellaea

Pellaea is a group of small to mid-sized ferns usually found on moist rocky cliffs, slopes, and bluffs, mostly from the Southwest US, Mexico, South Africa, the Pacific Islands, and Australia. There are roughly 40 species of pellaea but only a few are available for use in temperate gardens or as houseplants. Pellaea ferns are classified as sun ferns because they grow in open sunny sites and are closely related to another sun fern genus , Cheilanthes. They have evolved to be quite drought- and sun- tolerant, making great specimens for the rock garden.

Compared to a typical woodland fern, some folks are hard pressed to believe pellaea are really ferns. The genus name Pellaea comes from the Greek "phellos", meaning dusky. This refers to the bluish-grey leaves of some pellaea species. The common name, brake, is a variant of a medieval term for all ferns (bracken).

As you might expect from a plant that lives on sunny rocks, pellaea is drought-tolerant and requires excellent soil drainage. Regular watering during the growing season will keep pellaea ferns looking their best.

Plant Delights Nursery has a huge collection of over 1,000 ferns planted in our gardens. We also have one of the largest and most esoteric selections of ferns for sale in the US. If you are looking to buy ferns, especially a rare, cold hardy, garden fern, Plant Delights should be your first stop. Providing beauty and texture to the garden, ferns are great garden plants and a staple of any well-designed garden. When you are ready to buy pellaea for your garden, check out our online offering of pellaea for sale.