Athyrium vidalii
Common Name: lady fern 
Type: Fern
Family: Athyriaceae
Native Range: Eastern Asia
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 1.50 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.50 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 moist, acidic, organically rich, humusy, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Shelter from strong winds. Promptly remove broken fronds. Divide clumps as needed in spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Athyrium vidalii, commonly called Japanese lady fern or Vidal's lady fern, is a deciduous fern with an erect to ascending rhizome that typically grows to 2 1/2' tall and features bipinnate, finely-divided, deltoid, greenish yellow fronds (each to 14" long) with contrasting deep red stems. New growth is tinged with red. This species is native to woodland areas, valleys and stream banks in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Each frond (leaf) has ten to twelve pairs of lanceolate non-opposite pinnae (leaflets) with narrow pointed tips. Each pinna (to 6" long) is divided into deeply-cut lanceolate pinnules (subleaflets) which extend to 1" long. Sori and indusia are found on the undersides of the pinnules.

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

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


No serious insect or disease problems.


Great selection for a shady area of the landscape in need of a small but easy-to-grow fern. Rock gardens, woodland gardens, shaded border fronts or shade gardens. Also effective in shaded areas along streams or ponds.