Pyrrosia lingua

Tongue fern

Fern Facts


Hardiness (USDA zones): 8-10

Size: 8" - 12"

Size (cm): 20cm-30cm

Height and Spread: Small - Under 1' in height or spread in 5 years

Water Needs: Drought Tolerant

Garden Use: Containers

Origin: China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan


Pyrrosia lingua has a shallow slowly growing and long creeping rhizome that produces simple upright fronds 12” to 18” tall with a tapered base. The olive green fronds have an undulating margin with a slight twist to show off its felted tan underside. The indusia – free round sori accompanying stellate hairs and scales that make for a soft felty feel to the fronds. Bright yellow spores arrive late in the year, its easier to propagate by division. Plant in morning sun or bright shade and water occasionally to regularly. Great in containers or planted on tree trunks, nurse logs and rocks. In the garden pick a site with a steep slope and a very well-drained loose soil. 

There are a number of unique varieties in size and shape P. lingua ‘Corymbifera’, ‘Eboshi’, ‘Kei Kan’, ‘Ogon Nishiki’, ‘Obake Nana’, ’Hiryu’, ‘Tachiba Koryu’, ‘Alabama Gold’, ‘Cuspidata’, ‘Futaba Shishi’, ‘Nankin Shishi’.

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