Blue Oil Fern
The blue oil fern is a species of lithophytic and epiphytic fern native to Southeast Asia ranging from Thailand, Southern China, and Vietnam. This stunning fern produces thick, iridescent, teal coloured foliage that appears almost holographic under bright light. Extremely hard to come by and very rarely offered. Also known as Microsorum Thailandicum, it comes from shaded, humid, jungles in limestone regions, where the blue leaves serve as an adaptation to capture more light in these low light understory conditions.
The most striking feature of the Blue Oil Fern is the iridescent colour to the leaves. Researchers in the Department of Chemistry have found that the blue colour is caused by fibres of a chemical called cellulose in the cell walls in the leaves. These fibres pack like plywood and interact with light to reflect intense blue and green colours. Interestingly, the fibres on the underside of the leaf are arranged in a slightly different way to those on the top, so the underside shimmers greeny-red, while the top is metallic blue.
In terms of care, it is relatively easy to grow. However, they’re extremely slow and require consistent care over a long period of time to look their best. That means you can’t forget to water them for a few weeks at a time. Ferns thrive in neutral to acidic, loose, richly organic soil which is moist but not waterlogged. They prefers bright, filtered sunlight and is excellent as a houseplant or in a seasonal container. Protect from freezing temperatures!
This beautiful fern is unlike any other plant. For optimal health, it should be kept away from direct sunlight. This plant works well placed on a wall bracket where it can be left hanging and growing. The large leaves provide a sense of peace that is different from other aerial plants.