Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Ferns for Floral Arrangements

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 Florida 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 macrophyllus

Myers Fern

Asparagus densiflorus "Myers"

Palmetto Fan
Palm Fans

Serenoa repens

Spanish Moss

Tillandsia usneoides

Green Ivy

Hedera helix

Related Links