Aleutian Maidenhair

Adiantum aleuticum | Also known as: Five-fingered fern | Rating: 2 votes | Print / Pdf

Five-fingered fern: like spooky green hands clawing their way out of the ground to get you. Sleep well.

Adiantum aleuticum is also known as Aleutian Maidenhair or Five-fingered fern as the fronds fan out like the fingers of a hand. This native American fern has light to mid green leaves on dark, almost black stems. It likes moist fertile soil and will grow well beside a stream or pond in a shaded or partially shaded spot. It grows low, only around 10cm in height. The fronds can be made into a tea to help with respiratory ailments. It has been given an RHS Award of Garden Merit. It doesn't require any pruning, nor does it generally suffer from any diseases making it a very low maintenance plant.

Rate it:
Known dangers?
  • no
Height [m]
  • 0.75
Spread [m]
  • 0.75
Dominant flower colour
  • Inconspicuous or absent
Flower Fragrance
  • No, neutral please
Foliage in spring
  • Green
Foliage in summer
  • Green
Foliage in Autumn
  • Green
  • Yes, let it smell
Propagation methods
  • division
  • Spores
Growth habit
  • Arching
  • Clump-forming
  • Spreading
  • Acidic
  • Neutral
  • Alkaline
Hardiness zone
  • Z3-8
Heat zone
  • H8-1
Winter temperatures [°C]
  • -40 - -7
Heat days
  • 0 - 120
  • well-drained but frequently watered
Soil type
  • sandy
  • Clay
  • chalky
  • loams
Sun requirements
  • Partial shade
  • Full shade
  • Exposed
  • Sheltered
Standard category
  • Grasses, ferns & bamboo
  • Ferns
Grown for
  • Ornamental Foliage
Creative category
  • Kid Approved
  • For Beginners
  • We love the dark
  • Tough survivors
  • Author's choice
Garden type
  • Cottage garden
  • Containers
Garden spaces
  • Flower beds
  • Underplanting
  • Shade
  • Borders
Gardening expertise
  • beginner
Time to reach full size
  • 2 to 5 years