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
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.
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.