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Polypodium vulgare 'Bifidomultifidum'

20th May 2005 12th September 2006
The typical form of Polypodium vulgare is a rather hard fern that looks as though it was designed to keep its head down behind a sheltering rock. In this form the individul pinnules have forked tips that add a soft frilling to the look of the clumps that suits a garden environment well.
Kew treat P. vulgare var. bifidomultifidum as a synonym of P. virgineum but that isn't what this plant is. It is possibly a misnaming of P. vulgare 'Bifido-cristatum', of which Martin Rickard says:

"'Bifido-cristatum', 30-38cm (12-15in) was found in North Lancashire by Thomas Walmsley in 1867. Fronds pinnate, all pinnae with neat bifid branches forming fan shapes crests. Terminal crest also a flat fan shape but much wider than the rest of the frond. Strictly speaking a true 'Grandiceps'. Comes true from spores. Common."

Although the name would be easy to confuse, the description doesn't really match my plant.


  • Olsen, Sue - Encyclopedia of Garden Ferns, Timber Press 2007
  • Rickard, Martin - Gardening with Ferns, David & Charles 2005