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We found this African fern growing on Capetown's Table Mountain at 1,500' elevation and, despite the climatic difference, it has been right at home in our NC garden. The name hypolepis, which should mean "fast-leaping," actually means "scales underneath," while sparsisora refers to the diminished number of sori (spore cases). The large, lacy fronds of Hypolepis sparsisora reach 3' in length for us, but can top 9' tall in tropical climates. Hypolepis sparsisora is a spreading fern that can easily form a 6' wide patch in 2-3 years, especially when grown in moist soils. Drier soils slow the growth rate rather dramatically.
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