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Updated: 11/21/2013 08:00:05AM

Choose ferns for carefree gardening

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PHOTO PROVIDED BY COMMONS WIKIMEDIA.ORG (Christian Fischer)

Royal fern, (Osmunda regalis), and cinnamon fern, (O. cinnamomea) both carry their spores on separate specialized fronds that are covered with rusty red hairs.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY COMMONS WIKIMEDIA.ORG (Raul654)

Holly fern, (Cyrtomium falcatum), is especially attractive with dark, glossy, holly-like pinnae (individual blade segments) that are roughly oval with a long tapering tip borne on short stalks along the main stem or rachis.

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Ferns are often overlooked, but are excellent choices for carefree gardening. Once a fern bed is established, you pretty much don’t have to do anything.

Many ferns are evergreen in our climate. Some ferns have distinct growth periods and are fascinating to watch as the fronds uncurl. Ferns may be used as a groundcover, for borders, edges, backdrops or even as specimens.

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