Other Ferns





The Holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum) is another very desirable house

plant and has been a favorite for years. It has very dark green

substantial glossy foliage, and stands up well. There is a new Holly

fern, however, which I think will replace C. falcatum; it is C.

Rochfordianum; its foliage is not only a richer deeper green, but the

pinnae, or leaflets, are deeply cut and also wavy, and have given it the

popular name of the Crested Holly fern. Be sure to try it among the next

ferns you get.



Fern balls, which are usually composed of one of the Davallias,

sometimes prove unsatisfactory. Be sure in ordering to get them fresh

from some reliable mail order house, rather than take chances on them at

the florist's. The best way, however, is to get them already started. If

you get them in dormant condition, soak in tepid water and then give a

temperature as near sixty degrees at night as possible until they start.



While not strictly members of the fern family, the asparagus used for

decorative purposes under the name of Asparagus Ferns, are commonly

classed with them. Since their introduction they have proved very

popular indeed.



Asparagus plumosus nanus, the Lace fern. No foliage is more beautiful

than the feathery light green sprays of this asparagus. Notwithstanding

its delicacy, it keeps wonderfully well when cut. The plants can be

grown as pot plants, or as vines. If wanted for the former purpose, keep

the sprays pinched back at twelve inches, and the roots rather

restricted. For vines, keep in large pots or boxes--always well

drained--and keep well fed.



Asparagus Sprengeri in both foliage and habit is very distinct from

A. plumosus. The leaves resemble small glossy pine needles, borne in

long sprays, and as it is trailing in habit it makes a unique and

beautiful plant for stands or baskets. The sprays keep well when cut,

and make an excellent background for flowers. It is now used more

universally for green by florists than any other plant.



Either of the above may be started from seed, or propagated by dividing

old plants, but small young plants may be had of the florists at a very

low price. They need about the same treatment as smilax (see page 94),

but will do well in a temperature of fifty to fifty-five degrees at

night. Shower frequently, but water only moderately.



For many years these two varieties have held the field to themselves,

but recently a new asparagus, of each type has put in an appearance.

Hatcheri resembles plumosus nanus, but is more compact in habit and

the leaves are much closer together on the stems. If it remains true to

type, and is as hardy as plumosus, it will replace it, for it

certainly is a more beautiful plant. A. S. variegata is a very pretty

"sport" with the leaves edged white.





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