Common name: Giant swordfern, Macho fern
Native to: Florida, Mexico, the West Indies, Central America, South America, Africa, and southeast Asia.
This fern arrives at its common name for good reason. This big, brawny fern sports bright green fronds with bold, broad leaves and makes its relatives, such as Nephrolepis exaltata look little by comparison. Macho fern is ideal for large urns or planters where it has room to flex its graceful 3- to 4-foot-long fronds. It's ideal for decorating shaded or partly shaded front porches, patios, and other outdoor living areas, as well as underplantings under trees and in shaded borders to add texture and colour. It's also specacular as a houseplant, but does need more space than you think!
Genus name comes from the Greek words nephros meaning a kidney and lepis meaning a scale.
Native / exotic: Exotic
Aspect: Partial shade to full shade
Flowers: No flowers
Foliage: Evergreen, erect fronds
Growth habit: Clumping
Hardiness: Hardy but not drought resistant
Height: Up to 1 metre
Spread: Up to 1 metre
Soil requirements: Prefers moist well-drained soils and likes humidity. Keep well mulched
Uses: Grown in groups or massed in shady areas for texture, sighted at the base of shrubs and trees or for filling in shaded borders. Also popular as a pot plant but needs space as it is not small!