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Cretan Brake Fern, Polipoli
Scientific Name: Pteris cretica L.
Family: Pteridaceae
Cretan Brake Fern, Polipoli (Pteris  cretica)
Pteris cretica 'Wilsonii'
Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 17,23-25
USDA: 9b-11

Frost Tolerance: Hardy to 25° F (-4° C)

Sun Exposure: Part to full shade

Origin: Crete

Growth Habits: Fern, 12 to 24inches tall and wide (30-60 cm); short-creeping rhizomes; arching, pinnate, pale green leaves, 12 to 24 inches long (30-60 cm), 1 to 5 pairs of narrowly lanceolate pinnae, simple or forked at tips; fertile fronds are taller with narrower pinnae

Watering Needs: Abundant water and humidity

Propagation: Division, easy from spores

The Cretan Brake Fern is a very variable species, and many forms have been named.

    Cultivars and forms
  • var. albolineata Hook, 'Albo-Lineata', Variegated Table Fern, Silver Ribbon Fern: broad white central band, easy to grow
  • 'Childsii': broad pinnae, light green leaflets frilled along the edges,
  • 'Major', Oriental Brake:
  • 'Mayi': with crested tips, each leaflet with a white central band, 16 inches tall and wide (40 cm)
  • 'Nervosa': larger form, up to 3 feet tall (90 cm), cold resistant
  • 'Parkeri', Parker's Table Fern: broad, rough flat pinnae
  • 'Rivertoniana', Lacy Table Fern: pinnae with irregular lobes, in 4-5 pairs, often slightly crested, 2 feet tall and wide (60 cm)
  • 'Röweri','Roweii', crested Brake Fern, a frilled 'Parkeri'
  • 'Wimsettii', Skeleton Table Fern: easy to grow, a for of 'Rivertoniana' with the features more marked
  • 'Wilsonii', Club Foot Fern, Fan Table Fern: low-growing, end of pinnae crested appearing fan-like

Pteris cretica, habit in the wild, in Hawaii, Photo by Forest & Kim Starr

Blooming Habits:

Fruiting Habits:

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