Ferns are perennial plants mostly used for decorative purposes since they have wild-looking leaves. These plants are unique as they grow in full shade, where many plants can’t thrive. There are more than ten thousand fern species, and one can quickly recognize the leaves’ design.
Fern leaves, known as fronds, are small and neatly arranged on a central leaf stalk. They have different sizes, shapes, and complexity depending on the fern species. While most of these plants grow close to the ground, some grow like trees with leaves on a trunk above the ground level.
Tree species have specific foliage. But sometimes, they can match one another. So it’s not uncommon to see a tree with fern leaves. If you have come across such a tree and wonder what it is, keep reading this guide to help you identify it.
What Do Fern Leaves Look Like?
If you want to know whether a tree resembles fern leaves, you must know what these leaves look like in the first place. Fern leaves have a gentle green color with a long petiole, the part connecting the leaves to the stem.
Their leaf blade, which is the leaf’s surface, isn’t waxy, and it’s a bit rough. The leaves have a linear shape and can be arranged in the midrib. Sometimes they produce pores to help in the plant’s reproduction.
Trees with Fern Like Leaves
Jacaranda comes from a flowering tree that’s native to South America. Some people refer to it as a fern tree, exam tree, or black oui. Although mostly found in Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil, you can spot it in other parts of the world, especially those experiencing warm climates.
Many people seem to be attracted to the lovely violet flowers which the trees produce during the spring and early summer. These flowers can last for two months or more, depending on the climate. Aside from the beautiful flowers, Jacaranda trees also have attractive foliage.
Jacaranda mimosifolia tree species has leaves resembling fern leaves. Most people use it as an ornamental tree, and it’s mostly found along the roadside. These trees grow fast when provided with the right growing conditions.
They can reach a height of 120 inches in a year. Also, note that they can out-compete native species of a place. For this reason, they are categorized as invasive species in Australia and South Africa.
#2. Silk Tree or Mimosa
Mimosa trees are originally from the Asia region. But nowadays, you can spot it in Italy, the United States, and other places. The scientific name is Albizia julibrissin. The silk tree is also called the Persian silk tree or pink silk tree.
It is a deciduous tree that grows fast to a height of 10-40 feet and a width of 20-50 feet. The average life span is 30 years, and it grows with weak stems. A strong wind or storm can break down the stems.
The leaves are fern-like, which remain closed when touched and at night, while the flowers are like pom-poms in clusters. Their blooming time is from May to July, and they produce a beautiful fragrance.
The fruits are flattened and usually emerge in June but mature in August. Each fruit can have at least -16 seeds.
#3. Royal Poinciana Tree
This is another tree with fern-like leaves. It originally grew in Madagascar but can be found in other parts. Some people refer to it as forest flame, flamboyant tree, or flame tree.
Although mostly categorized as jungle trees, some of its specimens are planted as ornamental trees in various places. As such, it has prevented the species from becoming extinct.
The tree appears fresh and renewing in various climates. But its leaves usually fall off when growing in places experiencing cool winters or long drought periods. Royal Poinciana can grow up to 40 feet tall as an adult tree. The tree possesses a generous crown hence the reason it’s used to provide shade and grown in areas where animals mostly graze.
It has fern-like green leaves and various orange to red flowers. The tree also has a variety called flavida that produces yellow flowers. The flowering season depends on the climate where the tree grows.
#4. Japanese Fern Tree
This is another great ornamental tree that produces dense foliage and leaves that resemble a fern tree. However, while they are called Japanese fern trees, they are not ferns or indigenous to Japan. These trees originate from East Africa and South Asia.
They are mostly used in landscaping activities since they need little maintenance. Their dense foliage gives an exotic look and has a crown maintaining a round and eye-pleasing shape.
The Japanese Fern tree produces flowers once per year. The blooms grow in loose clusters which are small and white. But once they mature, they turn purple and can be eaten. The fruits drop and leave stains on pavers and sidewalks.
#5. Bald Cypress Tree
This hardy tree mostly grows in the southeastern part of the US. It’s hardy as it can adapt to different weather and soil conditions. The scientific name is taxodium distichum. But, it also has other names like white cypress, gulf cypress, and red cypress.
The tree is a deciduous conifer plant that grows to 10-40 meters. But it is not fast-growing. It has a reddish-brown trunk that has a stringy structure. The leaves are green in color, and the plant has tassel-like flowers produced in October and November.
It produces fruits shaped like a hard cone. Since separating seeds from fruits is hard, growers harvest the plants first before opening.
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