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Athyrium filix-femina (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Athyrium filix-femina (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

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Zone
Zones 1-9, 14-24, 31-43
Partial SunNo Sun
Partial, Shade
Ample WaterRegular Water
Ample, Moderate

Athyrium niponicum pictum

Japanese Painted Fern
Athyrium
Ferns

ATHYRIUM

Fronds of most types turn brown after repeated frosts. Leave dead foliage on plants through winter to provide mulch and to shelter delicate emerging fronds in early spring; cut back after new fronds have appeared. Species described here prefer rich, damp soil and will tolerate considerable sun if grown in constantly moist soil. Propagate by dividing old clumps in early spring.

Athyrium niponicum pictum ‘Silver Falls’ (photo courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.)
Athyrium niponicum pictum ‘Silver Falls’ (photo courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.)

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Athyrium niponicum pictum

Fronds grow to 1–1 1/2 ft. long, making a tight, slowly spreading, foot-high clump. Leaflets are purplish at the base, then lavender, then silvery greenish-gray toward the tip.

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