Cutflower Nomenclature

Scientific/Botanical Name:

Genus: Nephrolepis

Specie: exaltata


English Name:


Common Name:

Boston Fern

Botanical Family:

Name in Latin: Lomariopsidaceae (sometimes treated in the families Davalliaceae or Oleandraceae, or in its own family, Nephrolepidaceae)

Name in English: text

The Plant

Origin: Florida, the West Indies, and Asian Pacific

Growth Habit: ...


Blooming Period:

Leaf: Fronds (leaves) are wiry and arching to 12 inches long with many leaflets (pinnae) arranged in a pinnate (feather-like) fashion.



Care and Handling

Soil: average

Amount of water: Of the common cultivated ferns, the Boston fern is the most tolerant to drought. The fern thrives best in humid conditions, so when grown as a house plant it becomes necessary to mist the plant when relative humidity falls below around 80%. Although outdoors this plant prefers partial shade or full shade, inside it grows best in bright filtered light. This plant is usually propagated by division of the rooted runners, as named cultivars will not produce true spores.

Nutrition: fertilize

Special handling: ...

Special feature/remarks:

• The specific epithet name "exaltata" means very tall.
• Nephrolepis: Greek for kidney scale, referring to the shape of the spore cases on the underside of the fronds (leaves).
• This genus often mutates giving rise to many forms and types, especially in the species N. exaltata. Some of the changes are so great that the resulting plants look little like Nephrolepis genera members.
• The common name Sword Fern also refers to Polystichum munitum that has wider, darker fronds (leaves) up to 24 inches long. As with all true ferns, runners can be formed that can be left to grow or cut off. If they come in contact with moist soil, they can root and develop into another plant.
• Members of this family do not produce flowers as they reproduce by spores. Spores are contained in sori or "fruit dots" and appear as dark spots on the lower surface of mature leaves called fronds. Will generally grow well in light levels bright enough to read a newspaper in comfort.