Dragontail Fern (Asplenium x ebenoides)

Dragontail Fern

  • Long, Narrow Spikey Fern Fronds
  • Fresh Green Color
  • Random Unique Growth
  • Easy Care & Low Maintenance
  • Low Glossy Growth
  • Full Shade and Partial Shade
  • Higher Slug and Deer Resistance
  • Hardy Native Fern
  • High Soil Adaptability
  • Moisture Loving
  • Curious Way of Spreading

The unique and whimsical growth of Dragontail Fern (Asplenium x ‘ebenoides’) has long, narrow fronds with elongated tips and a chaotic, zig-zagging growing nature. Looking like a patch of green, mini-dragon tails playing in the garden, these Ferns add so much fantasy to your space.

This adorable Fern grows to about 6 inches tall and about a foot wide. Forming a low, evergreen mound of narrowly triangular, glossy fronds, each tapering to long points. The unique appearance is one not often seen in today’s gardens!

Also known as Scott’s Spleenwort or Walking Spleenwort because of the curious manner that some frond tips grow a small plantlet on their leaf tips and bend down to trail the ground and root, giving them their other name, the Walking Fern.

With upright arching growth, these have fronds grow in bizarre patterns of assorted shapes and a variety of different sized lobes, sometimes trailing to the ground and rooting to slowly spread.

Naturally occurring in Eastern North America, this hardy native and other species of Asplenium can be found growing in the Ozarks limestone ledges, and in crooks, nooks and crannies, and along bubbling creeks.

It is a natural hybrid between another two native species two eastern US species, Asplenium rhizophyllum and A. platyneuron, giving rise to this unique beauty!

How to Use Dragontail Fern In The Landscape

We guarantee no one else will have these beauties on the block. Hardy in growing zones 5 through 8, Dragontail’s small clump-forming nature is best suited to the rock garden or for edging in a shady woodland garden.

Also growing well in containers because of their size and curious growth, all planters will be given intriguing character with the addition of these heavily-toothed filler plants poking up haphazardly around the other plants.

They also do well in indoor terrariums and any indoor area that has high humidity. Give your bathroom a Spa retreat feel by adding Dragontail as a Kokedama; which is when the roots are suspended in a mud ball that is coated with soft green moss and wrapped in twine.

Plant around your favorite water feature and fountain where they can soak up the moisture and humidity while adding extraordinary texture!

Shady rock gardens and woodland plantings are natural haunts, where Dragontail can ramble and spread to its heart’s delight without worry. They’re highly deer and rabbit resistant so they can hold their own in these out-of-the-way spots.

Wildflower gardens and native forested glens will look lovely with these playing along their shaded edges. Slug-resistant, these will do well with little care or attention from you. Only the removal of dead or dying fronds is needed to keep the clumps tidy.

Tips For Care

Dragontail Ferns love the partial shade in cooler zones and full, dense dark shade in hot growing zones in warmer summer climates.

Doing their very best in cool locations, a generous layer of mulch helps retain soil moisture as well as insulate the root system from heat and chill.

Performing best in sandy and average soil that has good drainage and consistent moisture. Also tolerating clay soil, chalky soil, and any that have good moisture retention. Doing well in all types of pH from mild acidity to mild alkalinity. It’s surprising that this wonderful plant hasn’t caught on more!

These evergreen Ferns clumps may be divided in spring, but this is seldom required. Though enjoying to spread, they’re easily controlled and cared for.

When used indoors, mist often and keep away from drafts and full sun. Try raising the humidity by planting over a tray of water-filled pebbles or setting up a humidifier for your treasures.

For something truly cool and unique, we guarantee no one else has in your area, choose a hardy and adaptable plant! Your gardens will become a fantasyland with Dragontail Ferns frolicking in the dappled shade!

Dragontail Fern (Asplenium x ebenoides) Details

Common name Dragontail Fern
Botanical name Asplenium x ebenoides
Plant type Perennial
Hardiness zone 4-8
Growth rate Medium
Height 8 - 12 inches
Width 8 - 12 inches
Sunlight Full Shade, Partial Shade
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Well Drained
Pollinator-friendly No
Pruning time Early Spring