First, I would like to ‘tell you something about the name that might sound a little strange to you.
‘Hairy’ stands for the funny downy hairs at the top and at the bottom of the small, divided leaves, the function they have is to collect water from the atmosphere around the plant, I will explain later more about this.
‘Lip’ comes from the fact that the sporangia are exactly following the bottom of the leaves.
This little funny fern deserves much more attention than it gets now. The special thing about this Fern is that it tolerates full sun and drought. This is because the plant can collect moisture from the surrounding atmosphere by using its downy little hairs that can be found on top and at the bottom of the olive-green and sometimes nice grey leaves, so it is not fully depending on its roots.
Second reason for the drought tolerance is that the leaves can curl up to protect the plant against drought or other stressful circumstances and when this happens the bottom of the leaf which is white and downy will become visible, also young shoots will look the same.
Between rocks in full sun
Since Cheilanthes can stand drought so well and will not become so high (20cm-30cm) it will be a nice specimen among paths or between rocks on good visible, higher levels in your garden. This Fern is very hardy and wintergreen. Cheilanthes lanosa is native to the east coast of the the US.
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