Leatherleaf Fern

Common Names: Leatherleaf, Leatherleaf Fern, Leather

Botanical names: Rumohra adiantiformis

Availability: Year round.

Vase life: 7 to 21 days

Storage temperatures: 36 - 41 degrees Fahrenheit

Ethylene Sensitive: Yes

Description: Leatherleaf fronds are long, lance-shaped, and have a leathery texture, hence the name "Leatherleaf." The fronds can grow up to 3 feet in length. Each frond consists of numerous leaflets arranged alternately along its length. These leaflets are usually broad at the base and taper to a point at the tip, giving the fronds a feather-like appearance. In the world of botanical wonders, few greens rival the grace and timeless allure of Leatherleaf Ferns.

Color: glossy dark green

Botanical facts: Leatherleaf is native to New Zealand, Australia, and parts of the Pacific Islands. Leatherleaf is one of the most commonly used foliages in floral design and is now cultivated widely throughout the world

Design notes: Because of is hardiness, glossy dark green color and long lasting quality, leatherleaf is used extensively as a filler foliage on floral arrangements

Purchasing hints: Select undamaged stems with complete fronds. Most growers treat leatherleaf post harvest with an antitranspirant. The fronds should feel slightly waxy.

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: Often, consumers will complain of "bugs" on the underside of leatherfern in a floral arrangement. They are referring to naturally occurring spores on the fern. The floral designer may have to educate the consumer on "fern reproduction". Sexual reproduction involves the production of spores on the undersides of fronds. These spores develop into gametophytes, which in turn produce male and female gametes, leading to fertilization and the formation of new sporophytes.