Athyrium filix-femina 'Frizelliae'
Common Name: tatting fern
Type: Fern
Family: Woodsiaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Tolerate: Rabbit, Heavy Shade


Easily grown in humusy, organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Divide clumps in spring. This cultivar is reportedly not stable and over time may revert to producing fronds more similar in appearance to those of the species. Will not come true if propagated from spores.

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.

'Frizelliae' is a dwarf, deciduous cultivar which typically grows to 12" tall and features very narrow (to 7/8" wide), 12-18" long fronds with rounded, ball-like pinnae attached to the midrib somewhat like a string of beads. These unique pinnae give rise to the generally accepted common name of tatting fern for this cultivar, notwithstanding the fact that the species and other cultivars thereunder are commonly called lady ferns.


No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Woodland gardens, shaded border fronts. Also effective along streams or ponds.