Athyrium niponicum var. pictum

16 Jun

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Partial shade to full shade

Flowering period: N/A

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 40cm

Eventual Spread: 40cm

Hardiness: 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Athyriaceae

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum is a deciduous fern with a clump forming habit. Its dark green/ olive/ silver coloured leaves are in the form of fronds, are bipinnatifid, up to 40cm long, 25cm broad and appear in whorls from its basal rootstock. Its roots are in the form of rhizomes.

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum, commonly known as Japanese Painted Fern, is native to east China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. In its native habitat it grows in damp woodlands.

The etymological root of the binomial name Athyrium is derived from the Greek aqurw meaning ‘Sport’. Niponicum is derived from the name for Japanes name for Japan, ‘Nippon’. Pictum is derived from the Latin pictus meaning ‘decorated’.

The landscape architect may find Athyrium niponicum var. pictum useful as an attractive foliage plant for shady locations. Once established this fern is drought tollerant.

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum Leaf (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum Leaf (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically,  Athyrium niponicum var. pictum is of little ecological benefit.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given the species Athyrium niponicum var. pictum their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in spring

Davis Landscape Architecture

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