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CommentsThis is one of the more distinctive and beautiful ferns in the state. Its closest relative is Adiantum capillus-veneris (Venus Hair Fern), which is located in areas south of Illinois. The central stalk (main rachis) of this latter species is branched on both sides; these side stalks are quite short and have only a few leaflets each. These fan-shaped leaflets are more narrow than those of the Maidenhair Fern. Sometimes Adiantum pedatum is referred to as the Northern Maidenhair Fern, while Adiantum capillus-veneris is referred to as the Southern Maidenhair Fern.