Definition of filmy fern in US English:

filmy fern


  • A small fern of damp shady places, with wiry creeping stems and delicate forked fronds which are only one cell thick. They occur chiefly in tropical and subtropical regions.

    Family Hymenophyllaceae: Hymenophyllum and other genera

    • ‘Everything about it is supremely delicate, from the filmy fern leaves to the masses of mauve bell flowers with dangling pale gold anthers that hover over the garden like a pale mist in August.’
    • ‘Ferns vary in height from the diminutive filmy fern of less than an inch to the vast tree ferns of the tropics, reaching a height of sixty feet or more.’
    • ‘There are filmy ferns, and more jagged ferns, ferns which look like moss, and the stumpy Mexican tree fern which never grows very tall.’
    • ‘Contrastingly, there occur shade and moisture dependent species, such as members of the filmy fern family, found mostly by the riverbank.’
    • ‘Because of this high level of humidity, thick, lush mosses also thrive in the filmy fern house.’