The maidenhair fern is the only fern growing in the Alhambra and Generalife. It requires a very damp environment which is why it can often be found near very cool north-facing walls, caves, water tanks or on the edges of fountains and water channels. It is a very beautiful species with fronds that are reminiscent of parsley but with a brighter more vivid green, a colour that is highlighted thanks to some very fine, very delicate petioles with an intense elegant black colour. Its scientific name comes from ancient Greek, Adiantum, which means “do not wet”, in reference to the fact that water runs off its leaves without wetting it, and capillus-veneris from the Latin “Hair of Venus” (the Goddess of Beauty and Love in Roman mythology). In the past the fronds, which are picked in July, were taken as an infusion to combat laryngitis, bronchitis, colds, asthma etc. Alternatively they were chopped up very small and mixed with oil or vinegar before being applied to the skin to ward off dermatitis and hair loss.