Helecho - Southern Shield Fern

Common Names: Helecho, Southern Shield Fern, Southern wood fern, Kunth's maiden fern.

Botanical names: Thelypteris kunthii

Availability: Year round

Vase life: 7 to 21 days

Storage temperatures: 36 - 41 degrees Fahrenheit

Ethylene Sensitive: Yes

Description: Long arching fronds that can reach up to 3 feet in length. The fronds are composed of multiple lance-shaped leaflets arranged along a central stem. The leaflets are pinnately compound, meaning they are divided into smaller leaflets along the central axis of the frond.

Color: Green with a silvery underside.

Botanical facts: The Helecho fern is native to the southeastern United States, particularly prominent in the Gulf Coast region.

Design notes: Tall fern fronds can be used as vertical accents in taller arrangements, providing height and structure.

Purchasing hints: Select undamaged stems with complete fronds.

Conditioning: Dip the entire fern in a solution of water and Pixie Sparkle ™. This will put a wax coating on the leaves and will help keep the moisture in and prevent browning. Cut two inches off of the stem ends with a sharp knife. Hydrate in water only for two hours before storage or usage. Store in water only.

Additional notes: The name "Helecho" while commonly used by floral designers is misleading, "Helecho" in Spanish is "Fern".