Japanese painted fern
Athyrium niponicum var. pictum
Common Name: Japanese painted fern
Zone: 3 to 8
Native Range: Eastern Asia
Height: 1 to 1.5 feet
Spread: 1.5 to 2 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Flowers: Flowers not Showy
Tolerates: Dense Shade, Rabbits
Easily grown in humusy, organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Best sited in sheltered locations. Best frond color in light shade. Soil must not be allowed to dry out. Divide clumps in early spring. Naturalizes well by short, branching rhizomes and can form dense colonies in optimum growing conditions.
Japanese painted fern is one of the most popular cultivated ferns. It is a deciduous fern with a weeping habit which typically grows to 18" tall and features a slowly spreading clump of triangular, variegated fronds (to 20" long). Fronds are a soft grayish-green with an overlay of silvery hues accented by contrasting dark maroon midribs. The spore-producing structure called sori are located in a herringbone pattern along the veins of the pinnules. Synonymous with and sometime sold as Athyrium goeringianum 'Pictum'.
No serious insect or disease problems.
Woodland gardens, shade gardens or shaded border fronts. Also effective in shaded areas along streams or ponds.
Horticulture Agent IV
County Extension Director