Athyrium filix-femina – Lady Fern


Perhaps the essence of “ferniness,” the highly divided fronds provide that feathery, soft appearance most people think of when they think “fern.” Despite its soft appearance it’s a tough, adaptable plant and can take a fair bit of sun as long as the soil stays moist. It’s a clumping fern, not a runner, making it ideal for the woodland garden where it will form nice-sized clumps over time but not overwhelm delicate woodland wildflowers. It’s robust enough that it can also be used to fill space amongst woodland shrubs. Lady Fern occurs throughout North America and Eurasia – many of its cultivars like ‘Dre’s Dagger’ are likely to be of European origin.

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Wood Fern family, Dryopteridaceae

Photo by Homer Edward Price, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Updated 29 March 2023

Additional information

Pot Size

1.25-Quart, 5-Pint