Zones 3 to 8;
Part shade to full shade.
Mature size 18 to 30 inch height, spreads 24 inches. Native to North America, this deciduous is common to moist sites throughout the northern hemisphere. It is characterized by lush, finely textured, medium green fronds with an arching habit. They radiate gracefully out from the center of the crown. New leaves are produced throughout the season for a continually fresh look. At maturity, the stems turn dark red.
Athyrium grows best in moist soil with a neutral to moderately acidic pH. Partial to full shade is best. To protect the crowns and tender shoots in the spring, it is best to leave the old fronds on the plant over the winter. They can be removed in the spring when the new fronds reach 6 inches tall. If division is necessary, do so in the spring.
This is useful as a background plant in shade gardens and is also beautiful planted en masse along streams or woodland settings. It is a vigorous grower, especially in loamy humus-rich soils, but spreads relatively slowly and doesn't run. It is also reported to be more tolerant of sun and dry soils than many other ferns.
Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit 1993