Adiantum jordanii C. Mueller.


Pteridaceae (Brake Family)




California Maiden-Hair            

                                May Photo


Plant Characteristics:  Perennial with short-creeping rhizomes, scales variously colored;   lvs. 20-50 (70) cm.; petiole cylindric, reddish-brown to blackish; blade 2-3 pinnate, segments fan-shaped, thin textured, cut or lobed often less than 1/4 way to base, generally with less than 4 +/-irregular lobes, margins at base converging at 90-180 degrees, rarely to 240 degrees, stalk color often ending +/- abruptly at vase, midvein forked into +/- equal branches, not extending along margin; sori and false indusia 1-3, rarely to 5 per segment, generally greater than 5 mm.


Habitat:  Damp shaded banks at base of rocks and trees, mostly below 3500 ft.; several Plant Communities; Coast Ranges from San Diego Co. north to Ore. and foothills of Sierra Nevada; on Ids. off s. Calif. coast.


Name:  Adiantum, Greek, unwettable.  (Hickman Ed. 101).   Greek, a, without, and diaine, unwetted, referring to the shedding of rain drops.  (Munz, Flora, So. Calif. 25). Jordanii, named by Karl Mueller, 1820-1889, a German horticulturist probably in recognition of Alexis Jordan, 1814-1897, France, although, it is possible that the plant was named for David Starr Jordan, 1851-1931, an ichthyologist and long time president of Stanford University.  (John Johnson).


General:  Rare in the study area having been found only once and this on a northerly facing bank below Eastbluff north.  The plant was inaccessible until the Fish and Game cut down several Brazilian Pepper and Myoporum trees that were growing on the bank, allowing access from Back Bay Drive.  There is a natural seep here which keeps the plant rhizomes damp.  Cyrtomium falcatum, the holly fern was found nearby.  (my comments).      A. pedatum has been used as an expectorant and tonic.  A decoction of the plant is most gratefully cooling and of benefit in coughs resulting from colds, nasal congestion or catarrh, and hoarseness.  (Meyer 78).     About 200 species of temperate and tropical areas.  Widely cultivated.  (Hickman, Ed. 101).


Text Ref:  Abrams, Vol. I  24; Hickman, Ed. 102; Munz, Flora So. Calif. 25.

Photo Ref:  April-May 95 # 6,7,11; May 06 # 3A.

Identity: by R. De Ruff, confirmed by John Johnson.

First Found:  April 1995.


Computer Ref: Plant Data 486.

Have plant specimen.

Last edit 6/3/06.


                                        April Photo                                                                                                April Photo