HousePlant Identified as FoxTail Fern

Dear Judy, I have had a lovely fern-like plant for almost 30 years, it has long tail-like spiky fronds that grow 4-5 feet in length and produces funny grape-shaped bulbs in the soil. When the soil and bulbs start pushing up over the edge of the pot, I hack away 2/3 of the roots and bulbs and re-pot the remaining 3rd in fresh potting soil. And it thrives! What is it??? I have been told it’s NOT an asparagus fern but i does produce very tiny pale yellow flowers and an occasional pea-sized maroon colored dry berry. Thanks for any insight you can provide 🙂

Hi Kathi,

Without a picture, it’s a little hard to identify your plant. My best guess would be a Foxtail Fern, Protasparagus densiflorus “Meyeri.” Here’s a picture of a Foxtail Fern. Please let me know if this is what your plant looks like. Foxtail Ferns have very long arching “fronds” that are often two feet or more in length. Each of these fronds is packed with hundreds of green needlesLeaves that are slender, narrow, and do not have a leaf blade are called needles.. The fronds resemble a large bunch of fox tails which is how this plant got its nickname the Foxtail Fern. Foxtail Ferns are very close relatives of an Asparagus Fern, but the needlesLeaves that are slender, narrow, and do not have a leaf blade are called needles. are much denser on the fronds. Foxtail Ferns get tiny flowers in the Spring and red berries in the Fall when they are getting the proper care. Again, let me know if this FoxTail fern looks like your plant, if not please try to send me a picture of what yours looks like.

Long, green,tail-like frond on Foxtail Fern.

Foxtail Fern