Blechnum magellanicum

This species has no common name to my knowledge. Blechnum magellanicum is native to the Southern parts of Chile with isolated occurrences in Argentina. The name ‘magellanicum’ comes from its habitat in Straits of Magellan in Chile. Due to the temperature range this plant experiences in it’s native habitat it is considered hardy down to -8°C (18°F). The species is found growing in both low and high altitude forests. At higher altitudes Blechnum magellanicum does not produce a trunk but it is still considered the same species. At lower altitudes a thick trunk of up to 1.2m (4ft) can develop from the rhizome making this an interesting plant for any fern collection.

 Blechnum magellanicum growing in my garden in Bath, England


The fronds are once pinnate and produce deep green, waxy looking fronds. The new fronds are lighter in colour and develop a deeper colour over the first growing season.

 Blechnum magellanicum with a new frond uncurling

The species is dimorphic with sterile fronds appearing in spring as an erect ploom of growth from the centre of the crown. Blechnum magellanicum grows well in cultivation given a semi shaded spot with rich ericaceous compost and a good supply of moisture..