10 Plants With Fronds (Listed Here…)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

The term “frond” refers to a big, split-leaf.

The leaves of ferns are referred to as fronds in both common language and scientific terminology, and some botanists use the name exclusively for this category.

Other botanists use the term frond to refer to the broad leaves of cycads, palms (Arecaceae), and a variety of other flowering plants, including mimosa and sumac.

While the term “frond” is frequently used to refer to a huge, complex leaf, if used botanically to refer to the leaves of ferns and algae, it may also apply to smaller, undivided leaves.

Fronds have their terminology for their constituents. As with other leaves, fronds are normally attached to the main stem through a stalk. 

10 Plants With Fronds

Plants With Fronds

1. Osmundastrum cinnamomeum

The deciduous herbaceous plant Osmundastrum cinnamomeum produces fertile and sterile fronds.

There are 30–150 cm (0.98–4.92 ft) tall sterile fronds that are pinnate, with pinnae that are 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) long and 2–2.5 cm (0.79) cm (0.79–0.98 in) wide, strongly lobed, and spread out (so the fronds are nearly, but not quite, bipinnate).

Fronds containing viable seeds are shorter and upright, ranging from 20 to 45 cm (7.9–17.7 in). They turn cinnamon-colored, giving the plant its name.

Early on, green leaves with spores develop; as the season passes, they become brown and lose their green hue.

A year after the sterile fronds have been destroyed by frost, the spore-bearing stems grow. To be successful, the spores must grow within a few weeks.

In marshy environments, the Osmundastrum cinnamomeum fern creates massive clonal colonies.

Ferns have wiry, matted roots that create rootstocks. Many epiphytic plants thrive on this root mass. Orchids are commonly harvested for their osmunda fiber. Cinnamon Fern is not cinnamon.

2. Asplenium bulbiferum

Asplenium bulbiferum, also referred to as mother spleenwort, is a fern species found exclusively in New Zealand.

Additionally, it is known as hen and chicken fern and pikopiko, mouku, or mauku in the Mori language.

The fronds of this plant are consumed as a vegetable.

On the tips of its fronds, it develops tiny bulbils.

Once they reach a height of around 5 centimeters (2.0 inches), these spores fall to the ground and, if the soil is maintained moist, establish a root system and sprout new ferns.

This extra reproduction method is more convenient to use than spore propagation since it is more direct.

Here is an article I wrote on plants with erect stems

3. Nephrolepis cordifolia

Nephrolepis cordifolia is a kind of wood fern that thrives in wooded settings.

Foliage from fertile and sterile plants is three feet long by three inches broad.

On either side of the rachis, several leaflets, or pinnae, range in length from 1.5 to 4 inches (40 mm).

An Auricle on each pinna overlaps the rachis.

Linear scales with hair-like tips cover the rhizomes, which are orange/brown to pale brown.

Small subterranean tubers are produced by stolons, which are straw-colored.

Sword fern may be distinguished from the native Nephrolepis exaltata fern by the presence of tubers on the leaves.

Spore-producing structures are also seen between the leaflet midvein and edge.

Spores and the movement of stolons, tubers, and rhizomes are two ways a plant might spread its spores to new locations.

4. Rumohra adiantiformis

Leather fern, also known as leatherleaf fern, or leather fern, is a wood fern of the Dryopteridaceae family.

A large portion of its range is concentrated in the tropical regions of the Southern Hemisphere.

Rumohra adiantiformis, a bushy, tufted evergreen plant with glossy dark green fronds, grows to 90 cm (35 in) tall and wide.

On the underside of the pinnae (leaflets), there are circular sori (reproductive clusters), unlike many other ferns that have distinct specialized reproductive fronds.

Protective peltate indusia (films) cover many of the sori, and the stipes of the fronds bear conspicuous scales.

5. Pteridium aquilinum

Pteridium aquilinum, sometimes referred to as eagle fern, is a fern species found in temperate and subtropical regions.

It is also known as the eagle fern. Because of its spores’ extraordinary lightness, it has become widely distributed worldwide.

Herbaceous and perennial, common bracken loses its leaves in the winter. At the base of the fronds, the primary stem is up to 1 cm (0.4 in) in diameter.

In the autumn, it withers and dies back to the ground.

Here is an article I wrote on plants with dots

6. Onoclea sensibilis

Onoclea sensibilis, popularly known as the bead fern, is a medium to large-sized, deciduous perennial fern with a gritty texture and a dark green color.

The plant’s name is derived from its fronds dying swiftly when they are initially exposed to frost.

Onoclea sensibilis fronds have separate stalks that originate from the same rhizome, unlike other ferns. Sterile fronds are deep pinnatifid and vivid yellow-green.

They generally occur in clusters along the creeping rhizome. Tropopods, with enlarged bases, are found at the base of the sterile fronds and function as overwinter storage organs.

There are five to eleven pinnae (leaf pairs) on either side of the stipe. O. frutescens var. interrupta Maxim. fronds are shorter, ranging from 20 to 50 cm (8 to 20 in) in length, with only 5-8 pairs of pinnae.

Fungi are smaller, 20 to 45 cm (8 to 18 in), nongreen at maturity and have extremely tiny pinnae on the fronds.

They’re tenacious, lasting anywhere from two to three years. Bead fern gets its common name from its sori, clusters of sporangia (spore casings) with a diameter of 2–4 mm (1/10-1/6 in).

7. Polypodium glycyrrhiza

A summer deciduous fern endemic to western North America’s shady and moist regions, Polypodium glycyrrhiza is also known as the licorice fern, many-footed fern or sweet root.

A characteristic of the Licorice Fern that distinguishes it from other ferns is the absence of a single point of growth for its fronds.

Polypodium, which means “many-footed,” is the name given to this creature because of this.

The triangular fronds have finely serrated borders and sharp leaflets, originally separated.

At least one foot in length, they can grow to moreover two feet long, but this is rare. Parallel venation is also seen.

The rhizome is spreading, and the fronds appear to come from everywhere. The rhizome is reddish-brown and has a licorice-like scent.

As a fern, P. glycyrrhiza reproduces by spores, which form a pattern on the undersides of the leaves. At an early stage, these sori might be oval.

Licorice fern can grow as an epiphyte, on rocks, or as a ground covering.

8. Dryopteris expansa

A fern known as the alpine buckler fern, northern buckler-fern, or spreading wood fern, Dryopteris expansa may be found in the Northern Hemisphere’s chilly temperate and subarctic areas, from Spain and Greece in southern Europe to Japan and central California in North America.

Large, green, lacy fronds are typical, normally 10–60 cm (4–24 in) long and infrequently up to 90 cm (35 in) long.

There are two types of pinnae on the delicate fronds, one at the base and the other at the apex: There are several offshoots from the rhizome.

Sori are found on the bottom of the pinnae, located in the middle. Spores and division of the rhizome are the means of propagation.

9. Cystopteris protrusa 

North American Cystopteris protrusa is known as the lowland bladderfern, also called the lowland delicate fern. Eastern Canada and the Midwestern and Eastern United States are the plant’s natural habitats.

Cystopteris ferns are the most prevalent Cystopteris ferns in most of their area.

While most Cystopteris ferns like to grow on the ground, this one prefers to grow in enormous, thick colonies.

In addition, this species is mostly found in spring. Some fronds may be left at the end of summer, but most of them have already died.

Rhizomes that develop leaf buds for the next year do so by protruding slightly beyond the current year’s foliage, thus the special term “protrusa.”

In the field, this protrusion serves as a favorable diagnosis. Sori are spherical and covered in an indusium that resembles a bladder.

10. Polystichum braunii

The fronds can grow up to 40 inches long and 8 inches wide, with twice compound lance-elliptic leaves that taper to a pointed tip and gradually taper to a base that is gradually tapering.

The lowest pinnae are very short. The fronds are evergreen, with branches (pinnae) extending nearly to the ground and twice as long as the leaves.

There are 9 to 15 pairs of leaflets in each pinna, which can grow to a length of 4 inches (pinnules).

There are bristling points on the teeth of pinnules, and the pinnules are strongly toothed (falcate). Both the upper and lower surfaces are dark, glossy green.

The base of the stems (rachis) is heavily coated with tan scales.

A tiny lobe (auricle) is commonly seen at the base of many pinnules, particularly those found near the rachis.

The veins split. Flora grows as an arching cluster of 12 or more fronds in an irregular shape.


A frond is a large, divided leaf. There are many species of fern. We highlighted 10 of that spp. to give you an idea of what this plant looks like.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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