Pellaea calomelanos is an attractive fern that is widespread in the summer-rainfall areas of South Africa and it is the most common fern in Gauteng.
It grows in grasslands, between and against rocks in almost soil-less conditions, in the blazing sun on bare hillsides, as well as in cool shady areas.
The hardy fern is very leathery in texture and has rigid, blue-green fronds up to 350 mm long. It has a short, creeping underground root stock that is covered with small brown scales.
It is a special multi-purpose medicinal plant which is a must if you plan an authentic indigenous grassland or savanna garden.
It is difficult to cultivate. Never remove established plants from the wild as they are difficult to transplant. When you find one in a nursery in a bag, buy it and treasure it.
The best spot is close to a rock. The rock keeps the soil moist and cool and that is exactly what the fern requires to thrive.