Athyrium niponicum var. 'pictum'
Common name: JAPANESE PAINTED FERN
Zone 3b to 8, Part shade to full shade.
Height is 8 to 20 inches and slowly spreading clump grows to 18 - 30 inches.
2004 Perennial Plant of the Year. Tri-colored, 12 to 18 inch fronds emerge silvery-gray, almost appearing metallic. Silvery hue is accented by contrasting dark maroon midribs. Spectacular mature blades are triangular with zones of burgundy, gray and dark green. New fronds emerge throughout the growing season adding to the contrast of colors. Dense clumps are beautiful, adaptable, and a low-maintenance perennial.
This hardy deciduous fern is easy to grow in organically rich, medium to wet, well-drained soils. If the frond edges become scorched or crispy, the soil may be too dry. Add 2 to 3 inches of compost or peat moss to the beds each spring or fall. Best frond color occurs in light shade. Use in containers, as a ground cover or for borders in woodland, shady locations.
Hardy nearly everywhere in the United States, except in the desert and northernmost areas in zone 3.