Ferns are among the more unusual of plants. In prehistoric times, they grew to be as tall as 15 meters. They are seen along with fossils that are as old as 400 million years. It was around this time that ferns underwent a change from being water plants to becoming land plants.
There are more than 20000 species of ferns and many of them survive both outdoors and indoors. They do not prefer direct sunlight and flourish in partial shade. They are easy to grow, and are not easily susceptible to disease. With leaves that flow and drape, they are a favorite houseplant.
Ferns come under the group of vascular plants, and they have neither seeds nor flowers. Reproduction is through spores. Ferns are also referred to as Polypodiophyta or Polypodiopsida in technical terms.
What Do Fern Flowers Symbolize?
Fern flower: Meaning, Symbolism, and Colors-Ferns stood as a symbol of humility and sincerity during the Middle Ages in Europe.
The natives of New Zealand, the Maoris found that the leaves of silver ferns reflected light from the stars and the moon. This glow from the underside of the fern leaves helped them move around at night. For them, the fern symbolized new life and beginnings. It is culturally significant and has been adopted as the country’s national symbol.
Since ancient times, the fern was seen as a positive sign, and good luck especially for new lovers.
The Japanese admire the fern and refer to it as a symbol of family and hope for newer generations.
The other significant fern flower meaning and symbolism include:
The mystical flower as seed-Long ago people could not understand how ferns reproduce without seeds or flowers. They used to wonder how the ferns propagated. There was a lot of mystery in this process and the tales began taking shape. People started believing fern seeds had the power to make a person invisible.
What Do the Various Colors of the Fern Flower Mean
Fern flower: Meaning, Symbolism, and Colors-In ancient Europe, people believed that ferns produced seeds only on a particular day of the year. People couldn’t see the seeds except for this day. The person who found these seeds could begin to understand birds’ language. The seeds would make them as strong as dozens of men, and would lead them to buried treasure. A bath in the next morning’s dew and they would remain young and healthy.
Boston ferns grow wild outdoors but are a hot commodity as a houseplant. The dark green leaves have deep indentations that are spaced evenly at the edges. Keep watering them lightly and frequently and watch them grow to huge proportions.
Common outdoor fern
The rhizome is the underground horizontal stem from where the fern’s leaves emerge. The colors of the leaves range from dark green to bright green, and red color to a bronze tinge.
The Maidenhair fern has delicate leaves which are segmented.
Asplenium’s leaves grow as a single piece.
Boston fern leaves are initially rolled up and become bright green when they start to unfurl.
Fern flower: Meaning, Symbolism, and Colors-The natural symmetry of the Fern palm or sago palm makes the attractive leaves look more like green feathers. This small and magnificent palm can survive almost a thousand years. Though it is a fern, it resembles a palm so much that it is classified under the Cicadaceae family. Among the 8 species that remain after being widespread millions of years ago, the Fern palm is the strongest survivor. As a result, it became a symbol of long life. It is usually seen outside temples in South-east Asia, as a custom to please the gods.
The young tips of the ostrich fern are called fiddleheads, and they have been harvested for many centuries now. These tips are bright green and tightly furled. They look like and are similar in taste, to asparagus. You have to pick up the young tips before the fronds or leaves open, if you wish them to be edible. Fiddleheads are available for picking only during a few weeks in springtime. Otherwise, you will find them in frozen cans. Have no doubts, they make a very healthy tonic, filled with plenty of antioxidants and omega fatty acids. Once you remove the husk from the tips, you should wash them thoroughly. Then, boil or steam them until they get slightly crisp.
Japanese Painted Fern
Fern flowers:Meaning, Symbolism, and Colors-The Japanese painted ferns are perfect for outdoor gardens. Tapered leaves are a wonderful mix of silver and purple. They can grow to become 18 inches in length.
The Ostrich Fern is a majestic outdoor variety. The length of the leaves can extend up to 5 feet. The leaves sweep upwards and outwards like a vase.
Apart from the Boston ferns, here are some of the other indoor varieties.
Ferns are cultivated indoors as they dramatically add to the environment with their beauty and proven usefulness. Some of the more popular indoor species are:
Holly ferns-The leaves are dark green and are tolerant to heat, water and light.
Maidenhair ferns-This unique plant with black-colored stems and small leaves is very delicate. They can withstand high humidity, as in bathrooms and in places without direct sunlight.
Staghorn ferns-These ferns are good houseplants. They have long and fertile green fronds, and short, flat and infertile brown fronds.
Interesting Facts and Characteristics of the Fern Flower
Fern flower: Meaning, Symbolism, and Colors-The widely popular Boston Fern is a very beautiful evergreen plant with lush foliage. It is at its most beautiful when it is hanged in pots. Besides the attraction it offers, it has other benefits when cultivated indoors.
- These herbs improve the air quality and restore humidity in the immediate atmosphere. People complaining of dry skin and throat infections find tangible relief due to these properties of this amazing plant.
- Boston ferns have shown the capacity to absorb formaldehyde emitted from paints, perfumes and cigarette smoke.
- Even harmful pollutants like xylene and toluene commonly found in spray paints, thinners, and pesticides have been dramatically reduced in the presence of Boston ferns.
Some species exhibit anti-inflammatory properties for wounds, when you boil them in oil.
Lotions derived from the roots of certain ferns have proved to be effective antidotes to snake bites.
Cordifolia-Fresh leaves of this species are used to stop bleeding in cuts and bruises.
Abacopteris multilineata- Water extract from this rhizome has its uses in relieving stomach ache.
Best Time to Gift Someone Fern Flowers
Ferns are a good gift for someone who is starting a new venture, and you can be sure they would appreciate the symbol of good luck.
You can gift them as a bouquet to a couple that has recently got engaged.
If you have a friend who is a chronic smoker you could gift the family a few potted ferns to purify the air inside their house.