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Lincolnshire Today Reprint.

The Woodwardias or chain ferns, get their names from the sporing bodies found on the backs of the fronds, which are arranged in rows giving a chain like pattern which often shows though to the top surface. The two most commonly grown in Britain are both large spectacular plants, which make an impresssive display in the garden, but the may be tender in the colder areas especailly and sadly the best known species W. radicans. Some of the species can propogate vegitavely from bulbs produced on the fronds the tips of which often bend over to touch the ground. Some people say that the Woodwardias require acid soils, but I have grown both species in very chalky soils on the Lincolnshire Wolds without problems. Woodwardia fimbriata (right) the giant chain fern is a tall upright species with bipinate fronds up to six feet long.

Woodwardia unigemmata is another large species which could be hardy in some areas, and has survived outside with me in north Lincolnshire for several years now. It has the benefit of large bold fronds which are red tinted when the newly emerge.

Woodwardia unigemmata showing the red new fronds.