Rabbit's Foot Fern

This is the first installment of our "Featured Plant" series. These are plants we just happen to notice in our greenhouse and somebody just said "Wow." They may not be new, they may not be special, but they're really nice plants that caught our attention.

The other day I was working in the tropical greenhouse and was wandering around and happened to look up at the right moment. Wow. That is neat. What it was was a Rabbit's Foot Fern (Davallia fejeensis).

OK, so it just looks like a fern from the side. Nothing special you may think. And what the heck is with the name "Rabbit's Foot"? Well, these are interesting little plants. They're not too big, they grow in partial light conditions in the house, and they like humidity, just like a regular old fern. What makes a Rabbit's Foot Fern so interesting is the rhizomes it sends out to grow. Normally you see one or two little fuzzy "feet" hang out the side. Well the three specimens I found had more than just a few little feet coming out!

Wow! Those little feet really covered the pot. Small leaves are growing out of the rhizomes making the canopy even larger than usual.

Let's take a look at the plant from the bottom of the put now...

Isn't that a spectacular plant? The rhizomes are literally covering the pot! They're so thick on the plant, they completely cover up the price tag, even! Though I'm sure the plant would prefer to be re-potted or divided, keeping it pot bound but with regular water and fertilizer, it can stay like that for a while longer.

If you're ever in the mood for a conversational plant for the house, here it is. Sometimes you can get just potted ones and not hanging baskets, but the hangers are far more interesting to look at. Just remember that it's a fern so it likes it's humidity and doesn't like drying out. Once you get that under control, you're laughing!

And that's my featured plant of the moment. Look for more featured plants as time goes on from me or our staff though the season. Be sure to let us know if you see a stunning plant that you think would be a nice feature as well!

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