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Athyrium filix-femina AGM

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Bog or Fern

Habit

Clump-forming

Resilience

Hardiness

H7 (very hardy)

Colour

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring and Summer

Size

Ultimate height

0.5-1 metres

Ultimate spread

0.5-1 metres

Time to ultimate height

5-10 years


Preferred common name

lady fern

Family

Woodsiaceae


Athyrium are deciduous ferns with erect or creeping rhizomes bearing usually pinnate to tripinnate fronds, often of thin texture, and they are especially shade-tolerant

A. filix-femina is a vigorous deciduous fern to 80cm or more, forming a clump of fresh-green, lacy, bipinnate, lance-shaped fronds, the segments with toothed margins. In some plants the midrib is red, in others green

Other common names

  • female polypody

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Part shade
  • Full shade

Aspect

  • North-facing or East-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Easy to grow in fertile, moist neutral to acid soil enriched with leaf mould or garden compost, in a shady sheltered site

Soil

  • Moist but well-drained
  • Acid or Neutral
  • Loam, Sand or Clay

Propagation

Propagate by sowing spores in mid to late summer or by division in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Wildflower meadow or Underplanting of Roses and Shrubs


How to care

Pruning

Dead or damaged fronds may be removed as necessary

Pests

Generally pest free out of doors

Diseases

Generally disease free outdoors