Common names: Japanese Painted Fern, also known as Tatting Fern, Lady Fern and Southern Lady Fern
Botanical name: Athyrium nipponicum ‘Pictum’
General information: This deciduous plant was named Perennial Plant of the Year for 2004 by the Perennial Plant Association. It brightens shady areas. It is low maintenance with fine texture and provides nice contrast to other leafy shade perennials. A single plant can serve as an accent or a mass planting can provide impact as a groundcover from early spring to frost. Native to Japan and surrounding Asian countries.
Size: 12-18 inches tall and wide
Leaves: Leaves are lance shaped and set on arching fronds that grow to about 1 ½ ft long. Frond colored in shades of silver, burgundy, and green. Stems are wine-red.
Pests and Disease Problems: None known
Growing in North Texas
Plant in moist, well-drained soil, preferably rich in compost. The plant benefits from adding 2-3 inches of compost each year. Prefers shade but better frond color is produced with a small amount of morning sun. Cooler weather aids in additional frond color. They have low fertilization needs, about half that would be needed for other perennials. Can be propagated from spores. Cut back old fronds after new growth begins in spring.
University of Vermont Extension Website
University of Arkansas Department of Agriculture Website -
Keywords (tags) shade, fern, texture, burgundy, silver, moist soil,