Adiantum viridimontanum

Common Names:
Green Mountain maidenhair fern
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Elizabeth J. Farnsworth
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
New England Wild Flower Society

The conservation of Adiantum viridimontanum is fully sponsored.
Elizabeth J. Farnsworth contributed to this Plant Profile.


Adiantum viridimontanum is a slender fern that grows up to 75 cm (2.5 feet) tall. This species can be found in Vermont and Quebec in habitats that have exposed rock, some of which is mined for asbestos. These rocky areas (called serpentine habitat) typically support only sparse vegetation comprised of the few species (some rare) that can tolerate the very mineral-rich but shallow soil found here. Recent botanical inventories have turned up 7 populations in Vermont and 14 in Quebec. In Vermont, most populations appear stable and are restricted to relatively isolated sites, one of which is protected. However, this species faces a number of threats to its long-term survival, including mining of the rocky habitat where it occurs, road widening activities in areas where the plant occurs in road cuts, and the negative impacts of invasive species.

Research and Management Summary:
A handful of individuals/organizations are conducting research on this species. Conservation organizations on both sides of the border are beginning to take steps to protect these unique serpentine areas, which harbor many rare and specialized plant species.

Plant Description:
The leaves of this fern are slender, 30 - 75 cm (1 - 2.5 ft) long, with shiny, water-resistant surfaces and dark, glabrous petioles (Ruesink 2001). In high light, the leaves are held upright, while in shadier conditions, they spread horizontally, resembling horseshoes. The more triangular, fertile frond extends beyond the leaves and bears sori (reproductive structures) on dark brown, false indusia on its margins during late summer and fall.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research