Pellaea mucronata

Common Name:
Bird's foot fern
Plant Type:
Evergreen fern
Pteridaceae (The Bracken Fern Family)
Geographic Origin:
California Native?:
Plant Size:
12-24 inches high
Landscape/Garden Uses:
rock gardens
Flowering Season:
Not a flowering plant
Flower Color:
Not applicable
Sun or light shade
Well-drained soil
Suggested Irrigation:
Moderate to no watering
Estimated Hardiness:
Hardy to 10 degrees F. or less
Bird's foot fern is an unusual small fern found on rocky hillsides over much of California. It can form sizeable clumps with short, branched rhizomes underground, each branch bearing several erect 1-2 foot fronds. Each consists of a stiff, black, wiry stalk and a blade intricately branched into triplets of narrow, bluish green "leaflets". Though the plant is summer dormant in the wild, each year's fronds can last well into a second season. Sun or light shade, well drained, preferably sandy soil, moderate to occasional watering (the plants may be dried out completely in summer or maintained by watering in active growth). Hardy to 10 degrees F or below.