This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(a personal name). Polypodiaceae. Ferns, some of them grown under glass, and the smaller species making good plants for hanging-baskets.
Tropical plants, usually with firm, somewhat finely divided foliage and coriaceous semi-cylindric indusia, which are attached at both the base and sides, opening toward the margin of the leaf. - Some twenty species, in many parts of the globe, some of them epiphytes.
The-diverse habits of growth of the many different species of davallias, and their good lasting qualities, peculiarly fit them under ordinary care for decorative purposes, when delicate and graceful plants are desired. Among the many species, the following are most often seen and best adapted for commercial purposes: D. bullata, D. parvula, very dwarf; D. pentaphylla, young fronds of a dark bronzy green, and D. Tyermannii (Humata), are well adapted for hanging-baskets. D. dissecta and variety elegans, D. concinna (Loxoscaphe), D. fijiensis and vars. plumosa and major, D. famiculacea (Loxoscaphe), D. solida, D. pallida (syn. Mooreana) and D. pyxidata are adapted for large specimen plants. D. tenuifolia (Odontosoria chinensis) and vars. stricta and Veitchiana are desirable for fern-dishes, because of their dwarfish habit of growth and the ease with which they may be raised from spores. - Old plants of davallia may be cut into a number of smaller ones with a sharp knife. Planted firmly into shallow pans and placed in a temperature of 60° to 65° F., they soon develop into symmetrical plants. The rhizomes should be firmly fastened to soil by strong copper-wire staples, where they will root in a short time.
To gain a large number of small plants, the rhizomes should be detached, cleaned from all soil and roots, laid on sand and thinly covered with moss. Placed in a shaded position in a temperature of 65° to 70° F., and kept moderately moist, a number of small plants will develop from the dormant eyes, which may be separately potted as soon as of sufficient size. Spores of davallia should be sown on a fine compost of soil, leaf-mold or peat and sand in equal parts, and placed in a shaded position in a temperature of 60° to 65° F. All the operations of propagation of davallias will be most successful if conducted during the spring months. All davallias delight in a rich and open compost, an abundance of light and air, and moisture at their roots, a temperature of 60° to 65° F. and a thorough syringing every bright day. (N. N. Bruckner.)
Fig. 1229. Davallia bullata, grown as a "fern-ball."
A. Leaves once pinnate, with few linear segments
Leaves scattered, from a stout fibrillose rootstock, 1-pinnate, with 1 terminal and 4-6 pairs of lateral pinnae, 4-6 in. long, 1/2in. broad; sori in marginal rows. Java and Polynesia.
aa. Leaves tri- or quadri-pinnatifid, deltoid. b. Length of leaves less than 1 ft.
A tiny fern with scaly creeping rootstocks, the leaves sessile or with stalks 1-2 in. long, the blades 1/2-3/4in- long, 1/2in. broad, triangular, 2-3 pinnatifid, the segments threadlike, pointed. Singapore and Borneo.
Figs. 1229, 1230. Rootstock creeping, clothed with whitish or light brown hair-like scales: leaves scattered, 6-10 in. long, 4-6 in. wide, quad-ripinnatifid, with deeply incised segments; texture firm. India to Java and Japan. F.E. 11:543. - Often sold for house cult, in the form of a fern-ball.
Rootstock stout, with brownish scales, which are lanceolate from a broad dilated base: leaves deltoid, 4-6 in. each way, with the pinnae cut away at the lower side at base; segments short-linear, 1-nerved; sori intramarginal. Japan. G.C. III. 13:571.
bb. Length of leaves 1-2 ft. c. Foliage commonly tri-pinnatifid.
(D. elegans, Swartz). Root-stock clothed with woolly fibers: leaves 9-15 in. wide, with the main rachis slightly winged toward the apex; indusia several to a segment, with the sharp teeth projecting beyond the cups. Ceylon to Austral, and Polynesia.
Rootstock stout, creeping, fibrillose: If . - blade 1-2 ft. long, 9-15 in. broad, triangular, the main rachis scarcely winged at the apex, 3-pinnate, the segments linear-oblong, broadly toothed; sori inside the margin. Philippines. variety Mayi, Hort. Graceful, much divided leaves
(D. ornata, Wall.). Rootstock clothed with appressed scales or fibers: leaves 1-2 ft. long, 12-15 in. wide, the center of the apex broad and undivided; segments broad and slightly cut; indusia marginal. Malaya. variety superba, Hort. Leaves flat, in young state tinted with red.
cc. Foliage commonly quadri-pinnatifid.
Rootstock stout, densely clothed with pale brown linear scales: If . - blades 12-18 in. long, triangular, with ovate-rhombic, deeply incised segments; sori on entire segments, or with a horn outside. Spain, Canaries, N. Africa variety elegans, Hort. Leaves finely divided.
Rootstock clothed with pale brown linear scales: If. - blades tri-quadri-pinnatifid, 6-9 in. broad, with oblong segments; sori with a broad space outside, which is extended into a horn-like projection. Austral.
Leaves 6-12 in. broad, with the lower pinnae deltoid and the segments cut into narrow, linear divisions 1/8- 1/4in- long; sori on the dilated apices of the segments with no horn. Fiji Isls. A.F. 6:900; 9:233. G.C. III. 23:323. - One of the finest species, with numerous varieties. Considered by some botanists to be a variety of D. solida. variety plumosa, Bull. Distinct from the species by the gracefully drooping habit and feathery nature of the pendulous leaves variety major,
Moore. More robust: Ivs. not so fine, lighter color than the species.
Rootstock stout, with dense, rusty scales: leaves 10-12 in. broad, on straw-colored stalks; segments oblong, cuneate at base, with simple or bifid lobes; sori minute, often with 2 projecting horns. Java. variety elegans, Hort. Similar to type but with more graceful habit.
bbb. Length of leaves 2-3 ft.
(D. polyantha, Hook.). Root-stock with linear rusty scales: leaves tri-pinnatifid, sometimes 2 ft. broad, with deltoid segments cut into linear-oblong lobes; sori at some distance from the edge. India to Java and Hong Kong.
(D. Mooreana, Mast.). Root-stock stout, with lanceolate dark brown scales: ivs. with straw-colored stalks 12-18 in. long, quadri-pin-natifid, with deltoid, stalked segments, the ultimate obovate-cuneate, bearing the sorus on the upper side at the base. Aneityum and Borneo. A.F. 6:901; 9:231. A. G. 13:143.
For D. concinna and D.foeniculacea, see Loxoscaphe. D. platyphylla, see Microlepia; D. stricta, see Steno-loma; D. tenuifolia, see Stenoloma; D. Tyermannii, see Humata.
Several other ferns are in trade under the name Davallia, which are properly referred to other genera. Of these, disposition should be made as follows: D. alpina=Humata, repens; D. angustata=Humata, hetero-phylla; D. brasiliensis=Saccoloma, inaequale; D. retusa =Odontosoria retusa; D. tenuifolia=Odontosoria chi-nensis. D. amaena and D. decora are names of uncertain standing and application. R C Benedict†