Athyrium niponicum

11 Sep

Athyrium niponicum (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Athyrium niponicum (17/08/2014, 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 is a deciduous fern with a clump forming habit. Its olive green 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, commonly known as 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’.

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

Ecologically,  Athyrium niponicum is of little ecological benefit.

Athyrium niponicum Leaf (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Athyrium niponicum Leaf (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

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

Athyrium niponicum prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It prefers a damp to wet soil.

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

Davis Landscape Architecture

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