Athyrium niponicum var. pictum 'Pewter Lace'
Common Name: Japanese painted fern
Type: Fern
Family: Woodsiaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Rabbit, Heavy Shade

Culture

Easily grown in humusy, organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Best sited in sheltered locations. Best frond color in light shade. Soil must not be allowed to dry out. Divide clumps in early spring. Naturalizes well by short, branching rhizomes and can form dense colonies in optimum growing conditions.

Vegetative reproduction required for this patented plant.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum, commonly known as Japanese painted fern, is a rhizomatous, deciduous fern with an arching habit that typically grows to 18” tall. It features a slowly spreading clump of triangular, variegated fronds to 20” long. Fronds are a soft grayish-green with an overlay of silvery hues accented by contrasting dark maroon midribs. Silvering is best for several weeks in the spring, with fronds becoming greener as hot temperatures arrive.

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

Specific epithet means Japanese.

‘Pewter Lace’ is a patented cultivar that primarily differs from var. pictum by having (1) pewter fronds, (2) pink rachis and (3) longer period of good frond coloring. Topside leaf color is described in the patent documents as having an overall look of purplish gray green with a white overlay. U.S. Plant Patent PP15,721 issued April 12, 2005.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

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