Athyrium filix-femina

Athyrium filix-femina

Athyrium filix-femina, commonly called lady fern, is a deciduous fern that features lacy-cut, erect or ascending, 2 to 3-pinnate or pinnatifid, finely-divided, lanceolate, light green fronds which grow in a dense circular shuttlecock-like clump to 2-3′ tall. Each frond (leaf) has twenty to thirty pairs of elliptic non-opposite pinna (leaflets) with narrow pointed tips. Each pinna is divided into deeply-cut lanceolate to oblong pinnules (subleaflets).

OK – enough of the technical jabber – it is a fern with ferny foliage, but it’s the stems on these plants that really make them stand out – lip-stick red stems. It is found throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere.

Pronunciation: uh-THEE-ree-um FY-liks fem-in-uh

Species Meaning: Latin filix meaning fern and femina meaning woman

Cultivation Notes

Easily grown in rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Tolerates drier soils than many other ferns. Will tolerate full sun, however, only if soil is kept constantly moist. Shelter from wind to protect fronds from breaking.

Propagation Notes

Divide clumps in spring every few years to reposition crowns at the soil level.

In Our Garden

Plant ID: P20159

We acquired this plant from Farmington Gardens.

Family: Athyriaceae

Genus: Athyrium

Species: filix-femina

Commonly known as: Lady Fern

Height: <3ft

Spread: <3ft

Growth Habit:
Water Needs:
Summer - Medium Water
Sun Needs:
Full Shade
Part Shade
Part Sun
Soil Type:
Average Soil
Season of Interest:
Zn 0 to 6 - too cold for me!

Resistant to Deer and Rabbit.

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