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The Plant Guide

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Ghost fern

Athyrium 'Ghost'

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Here’s a fern with an upright habit and silvery fronds that give it a ghostly look, hence the name. Emerging new fronds have a shimmering whitish color that darkens slowly to a silvery green with burgundy accents. ‘Ghost’ spreads slowly by shallow rhizomes, eventuallly becoming an excellent ground cover. -Matt Griswold, Regional Picks: Northeast, Fine Gardening issue #127

Noteworthy CharacteristicsThis is a strong grower. Among the colored ferns, this one is fairly subtle and combines well with most other plants.

CareProvide part to full shade and moist, but well-drained, humusy soil. 'Ghost' grows best in a sheltered location and its color is best in light shade.

PropagationSow spores when ripe. Divide in spring.


  • Genus : Athyrium
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Tolerance : Deer Tolerant
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Light : Partial Shade to Full Shade
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
  • Uses : Shade
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
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