The Plant Guide

Browse the Full Plant Guide

Japanese painted fern

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum

ah-THEER-ee-um nih-PON-ih-kum variety PIK-tum

This fern has cool, gray-green, almost silvery foliage and reddish-purple stalks that are useful for brightening dark spots in borders. It is deciduous, and although it reaches only 8 to 12 inches in height, it is easy to grow, prolific, and easily divided.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsIt forms a tight, hardy ground cover when plants are placed about 1 foot apart. ‘Pictum’ was the 2004 Perennial Plant of the Year.

CareProvide light to full shade and well-drained, rich, moist soil, preferably in a humid environment.

PropagationDivide in spring.

ProblemsThis fern is prone to rust.

  • Genus : Athyrium
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Plant Height : 6 to 12 inches
  • Uses : Ground Covers, Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Light : Partial Shade to Full Shade
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest

Related Plants

Related Articles

More From the Plant Guide

Winter Interest

Partial Shade

Browse the Full Plant Guide