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ATHYRIUM filix-femina

Image of Athyrium filix-femina

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Dryopteridaceae

Botanical Name

ATHYRIUM filix-femina

Plant Common Name

Ladyfern

General Description

Ladyfern is a deciduous, terrestrial fern occurring throughout temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Vigorous, elegant and easy to grow, it was a great favorite in gardens of the Victorian era. Its tall, light green, upright to arching fronds are lined with narrow, pointed, finely divided leaflets which have a soft, airy appearance. The stems are typically green, but are sometimes tinted with red-brown. Numerous cultivars of this highly variable fern have been developed, including those with crested, unusually divided, or even tufted, ball-shaped leaflets.

Plant this beautiful, fast growing fern in full to part shade and moist, rich, acid to neutral soil. Regular moisture is particularly beneficial in areas with more sun. In the shaded mixed border, ladyfern looks terrific combined with the bold, horizontal foliage of hostas or other shade-loving perennials. It is also lovely when used as a sweeping groundcover in naturalistic woodland gardens.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Fern

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Native To

    North America, Europe, Russia/Siberia, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    No