Athyrium filix-femina 'Victoriae'
Common Name: lady fern
Type: Fern
Family: Woodsiaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Insignificant
Tolerate: Rabbit, Heavy Shade


Easily grown in rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, including somewhat drier conditions than many other ferns. Divide clumps in spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Athyrium filix-femina, commonly called lady fern, is a deciduous fern that features lacy-cut, 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). Sori and indusia are found on the undersides of the pinnules. This is a circumglobal species which is found in rich moist woods, thickets, fields, meadows and ravines throughout northern North America, Europe and Asia.

Genus name comes from Greek athyros meaning doorless in reference to the slowly opening hinged indusia (spore covers).

Specific epithet comes from Latin filix meaning fern and femina meaning woman as confirmed by the common name of lady fern.

'Victoriae' grows in clumps to 24" tall. The finely divided fronds have narrow pinnae (tiny leaves) that are in the shape of narrow boomerangs. Vigorous growing. A very popular group of the Victorian fern craze era.


No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Mass in the woodland or shade garden or along streams or ponds. Graceful, green foliage provides contrast in the landscape and may be used as background for other perennials.