Native plants for wetlands, fields or forests and an eclectic mix of other botanic delights

Asplenium platyneuron

Photo Credit:
Missouri Botanical Garden
Photo Credit:
Missouri Botanical Garden
Limited Supply
Ebony Spleenwort
Broadly adaptive to a variety of soils
Mature Size:
' Height /
' Spread
Expected Size:
Light Preference:
Soil Preference:
Moist (Mesic)
$10.50/1 qt.; some larger

Asplenium platyneuron (Ebony Spleenwort) is a spleenwort with a disjunct distribution in two (now 3) continents. In North America it is native almost throughout the eastern United States, east of the Rockies.  Oddly enough, it is also known from south Africa.

The fertile fronds, which die off in the winter, are darker green and stand upright, while the sterile fronds are evergreen and lie flat on the ground. An auricle at the base of each pinna points towards the tip of the frond. The dimorphic fronds and alternate, rather than opposite, pinnae distinguish it from the similar black-stemmed spleenwort.  

Ebony Spleenwort produces vegetative buds and is thus capable of proliferating by forming new plantlets from buds on the rachis at the base of the plant. These allow new individuals to form at different levels when prostrate fronds become buried in the leaf litter (Wagner & Johnson, 1993).  It is also well-adapted to propagate by spores, as the upright fertile fronds help the spores enter the airstream for long-distance dispersal, and the gametophytes can self-fertilize with a high degree of success. This dispersal ability seems to have helped the species spread rapidly in the Great Lakes region in the late 20th century. Long-distance dispersal may also explain its naturalized appearance in South Africa; the same mechanism may have given rise to an isolated population found in Slovakia in 2009, its first known occurrence in Europe (Wikipedia).

Ebony Spleenwort has broad adaptability, growing both on rocks like many other North American spleenworts and in a variety of soils. Unlike many other spleenworts, it is not particularly sensitive to soil pH.

This is a very delicate looking, but tough fern, with lovely ebony-colored stipes.  It's a great addition to the small garden, or for growing in crevices in rocks.  To establish it in these conditions, make certain that it is watered well and frequently until it sends roots down into the crevice.

No additional images.
Photo(s) Credit:
Stan Kollar

Prices listed are subject to change, based upon size change and availability.

We are a small local nursery with limited shipping capability. We will do our best to ship smaller material (usually 1 or 2 gallon), although we can sometimes ship larger plants with the pots removed.

We have some species that are not listed, as we have too few of them to make a full listing plausible. You can always inquire.

We will consider contract growing an order with appropriate advance notice and availability of seed, cuttings or lining out stock.

Summer Business Hours
10- 6
10- 6
By Appointment
10 - 6
10- 5
10- 5
By Appointment
Kollar Nursery | 5200 West Heaps Road, Pylesville, MD 21132 | 410.836.0500
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