Performance Evaluation of Ferns for Cut Green and Landscape Purpose
Ferns can be used as ground covers, specimen plants and for group, background and border planting in landscape. They can also be used as fillers in bouquets and flower arrangements. Hence, the objective of the study was to evaluate the performance of different fern species and to identify the suitable species for commercial cultivation. Eleven species of ferns belonging to different genera viz., Adiantum tenerum, Asplenium nidus, Asplenium longissimum, Asplenium scolopendrium, Diaplazium acrostichoides, Nephrolepis biserrata ‘furcans’, Nephrolepis exaltata ‘chidisii’, Nephrolepis exaltata, Bostoniensis compacta, Nephrolepis cordifolia, Nephrolepis biserrata miniata and Pteris ensiformis were evaluated for growth pattern and suitability for landscape and commercial uses. Vegetative characters like eplant height and spread were highest in Asplenium nidus and a maximum number of leaves were observed in Adiantum tenerum. Based on growth pattern they were classified under tall, medium and dwarf groups Asplenium nidus and Nephrolepis biserrata miniata were grouped under the tall category. The species which come under medium category are Asplenium longissimum, Diaplazium acrostichoides, Nephrolepis biserrata ‘Furcans’, Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Chidisii’, Nephrolepis exaltata, Bostoniensis compacta, Nephrolepis cordifolia, Pteris ensiformis and Asplenium scolopendrium where as Adiantum tenerum comes under dwarf category. All species evaluated were found to be suitable for pot plants. Nephrolepis biserrata miniata, Nephrolepis biserrata furcans, Nephrolepis cordifolia, Asplenium nidus and Diaplazium acrostichoides can be recommended as houseplants. Nephrolepis biserrata-Miniata, Nephrolepis biserrata furcans and Nephrolepis cordifolia can be used as border plants in landscapes. Nephrolepis exaltata, Bostoniensis compacta, Asplenium longissimum and Pteris ensiformis were observed to be attractive in hanging baskets. Nephrolepis biserrata-Miniata, Nephrolepis exaltata chidisii, Nephrolepis exaltata, Bostoniensis compacta and Diaplazium acrostichoides are suitable for bouquets and flower arrangements.
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