Pteris cretica

Pteris cretica, the Cretan brake,[1] ribbon fern,[2] or Cretan brake fern, is a species of evergreen fern in the family Pteridaceae, native to Europe, Asia and Africa.

Pteris cretica
Pteris cretica 'Albo-lineata' a1.jpg
P. cretica var. albolineata
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Division: Polypodiophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Pteridaceae
Genus: Pteris
P. cretica
Binomial name
Pteris cretica
Pteris cretica 'Albolineata'. Vegetative leaves and sporophylls (upper, linear).


The fern grows to 75 cm (30 in) tall by 60 cm (24 in) broad. It has arching pinnate fronds each bearing up to five pinnae.[3][4]


Pteris cretica is cultivated widely by plant nurseries. It is used in gardens in the ground and as a potted plant, and as a houseplant. The variety with variegated foliage, Pteris cretica var. albolineata, is also widely used, brightening shade gardens.

Both types thrive year round outdoors in subtropical climates, such as California. With a minimum temperature of 2 °C (36 °F), both require protection from frost, though the species is hardier and can be grown outdoors during the summer months in cold climates.[3]

The species,[5] and the variety P. cretica var. albolineata (syn. P. nipponica),[6] have both gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[7]

A relictual presence is certificated in the Italian peninsula Lazio (Ponte Terra gorge, San Vittorino, Rome).


  1. ^ USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Pteris cretica". The PLANTS Database ( Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  2. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  3. ^ a b RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
  4. ^ "Missouri Botanical Garden - Pteris cretica". Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Pteris cretica". Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Pteris nipponica". Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  7. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 82. Retrieved 23 September 2018.

External linksEdit