Wooly Lip Fern

Cheilanthes tomentosa

Wooly Lip Fern

Cheilanthes tomentosa, the wooly lip fern, is a xeric, i.e. a denizen of drylands rather than the woodland habitats that are traditionally considered ferny homes. Consequently the growing requirements are also significantly different. Here are ferns that prefer sunny rather than shady sites, good gritty draining soil rather than compost and only minimum amounts of water. The fronds sun screen themselves with hairs, scales or both giving them a highly ornamental fuzzy blue appearance. And when things get really tough (dry) they can curl up and rehydrate with the arrival of a good drink. They are therefore sometimes known as resurrection ferns. These are clumpers with strongly upright 8 to 12 inch fronds grouped to minimize their exposure to sunlight. They prefer a habitat sheltered by a boulder or rocky surrounds which serve them by filtering down what little moisture arrives as dew in the cool of the evening. They also provide a cool root run which aids success in their long search for available water. In nature these ferns receive rain in the summer months adding yet another requirement

Habit: Spreading

Range: Zones 5 - 9 Learn more about zones


Type: Deciduous

Collection(s): Hardy, Native

Casa Flora Number: 46080