Commissioner Adam H. Putnam

Florida Agriculture: 500 Years in the Making

Florida Crops and Products

Florida Ferns for Floral Arrangements

Florida's Fern Industry

Slideshow of Fern Images

Florida's cut foliage industry started near the turn of the 20th century, when growers of fern asparagus started shipping iced fern sprays by train to florists in the Northeast. 

By the 1920s, the City of Apopka adopted the slogan of "The Fern City." Growers sold millions of ferns to dime-store chains, which soon asked for other plants to sell also, launching the foliage industry.  By the 1950s, there were over 2,000 acres of cut foliage production in Florida, most in Volusia County, with fern asparagus being the predominant crop. By the 1980s, production acreage had increased to over 3,300 acres, with more than 90 percent of the acreage devoted to leatherleaf fern. 

Volusia County continues as the leading producer, followed by Putnam and Lake counties. 

Florida is the national leader in sales of domestic cut cultivated greens, producing three-fourths of the value of all cut greens sold.

Types of Ferns and Decorative Greens

Types of Ferns and Decorative Greens
Common Name Botanical Name
Plumosus Fern Asparagus setaceus
Sprengeri Fern Asparagus densiflorus
Cast-iron plant
Aspidistra elatior "Lurida"
Aspidistra elatior "Variegata"
Aspidistra elatior "Minor"
Aspidistra elatior "Milky Way"
Ming Fern Asparagus macowanii
Variegated Pittosporum Pittosporum tobira "Varigata"
Umbrella Plant
Umbrella Palm
Cyperus alternifolius
Leatherleaf Fern
Leather Fern
Rumohra adiantiformis
Tree Fern
Tiki Fern
Asparagus virgatus
Sword Fern Nephrolepis exaltata
Podocarpus Podocarpus macrophyllus
Myers Fern
Asparagus densiflorus "Myers"
Palmetto Fan
Palm Fans
Serenoa repens
Spanish Moss Tillandsia usneoides
Green Ivy Hedera helix

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