Pteris wallichiana

Brake fern


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This was one of those "Holy shit - lookit that fern!" moments when we first spotted this species growing in a moist stable and vegetated scree at the base of a soaring vertical cliff face fronting this mountainous outcrop of improbable pinnacles in Guizhou, China, The fern was perfect in scale and not intimidated in the slightest with 5'-6' wide leaves on a clumping plant 6'-8' tall. We were dismayed not to collect spore but happy to get a small plant of this species from fernologist Sue Olsen a few years back. This grows to be a pretty hefty clump but does not run. Hardy to zone 8 and mulch crown if it gets serious in winter.


Plant Type

  • Fern

Mature Size

4'-8' tall

Hardiness Zones

  • Zone 7b (5 °F)
  • Zone 8a (10 °F)
  • Zone 8b (15 °F)
  • Zone 9a (20 °F)
  • Zone 9b (25 °F)
  • Zone 10 (30 °F)

Sun Exposure

  • Full Sun
  • Part Shade - Part Sun

Water Needs

  • Moist
  • Moderate

Bloom Time

  • Not applicable