Mother spleenwort, hens and chickens fern, pikopiko
Asplenium bulbiferum is an evergreen, low maintenance fern with a distinctively airy and light quality.
The Mother Spleenwort Fern displays lacy light green fronds of a wonderfully delicate appearance, arching gracefully into a frothy dome of foliage, which easily softens part shaded borders in the garden.
The Asplenium bulbiferum is native to New Zealand, but it made its way into cultivation in Europe, though sometimes the plants are actually hybrids with similar species like A.gracillimum.
In New Zealand this, apparently tasty, fern is foraged for its young fronds, which are pickled and called pikopiko. Pikopiko is included in a range cuisines, from salads, cheeseboards and charcuterie plates to pastrami sandwiches.
Care & Size Guidance
Produced along the upper surface of the older leaves are little plantlets – hence the common name – Mother spleenworth Fern – which can be either removed, rooted and grown on or allowed to fall to the ground and reproduce naturally.
Outdoors, plant in part shade in a humus-rich soil. Morning sun is preferred to the afternoon sun.
Water sparingly in winter.
In colder areas Asplenium bulbiferum can be grown to perfection in the house or conservatory. Guard new growth against slugs and snails.