(Nephrolepis exaltata hawaiiensis)
The fronds of Nephrolepis exaltata are 50-250 cm long and 6-15 cm broad, with alternate pinnae (the small "leaflets" on either side of the midrib), each pinna being 2-8 cm long. The pinnae are generally deltoid, as seen in the adjacent picture. The pinnate vein pattern is also visible on these highly compound leaves. The edges appear slightly serrate.The species has erect fronds, but Nephrolepis exaltata 'Bostoniensis' (Boston fern), has gracefully arching fronds. This mutation was discovered in a shipment of N. exaltata to Boston from Philadelphia in 1894.Other proposals for the origin of the term Boston fern were documented by David Fairchild who stated the term came from Florida pioneer nurseryman John Soar who sent the plants to his friend in Boston.