Athyrium filix-femina f. angustum 'Lady in Red'
Northern Lady Fern
Athyrium filix-femina f. angustum 'Lady in Red' (aka Athyrium angustum f. rubellum 'Lady in Red') – Showy red stipes (stems) supporting lovely green fronds are the defining features of this selection of Northern Lady Fern. This will form an elegant and lush specimen or grouping. 'Lady in Red' will be handsomely employed in the company of bold-leafed shade perennials, with purple or variegated foliage or as a mass planting facing up shade to part sun loving shrubs. It will gradually, albeit slowly, spread. Fertile moisture retaining ground. This pretty fern also tolerates wetter ground. 'Lady in Red' is a selection found by John Lynch of the New England Wildflower Society in Vermont. The species, Athyrium filix-femina f. angustum, enjoys a broad range, Greenland to Newfoundland, west to Saskatchewan, south to South Dakota and Missouri, east to North Carolina and all states and provinces within. Please scroll down to the Genus Overview below. Established potted fern(s) by division.
Zone:3 to 8
What is my hardiness zone?
Characteristics and Attributes for Athyrium filix-femina f. angustum 'Lady in Red'
Season of Interest (Foliage)
- Late Spring / Summer / into Autumn
- Deer Resistant
- Dappled Shade
- Natural Garden
- Wildlife Garden
Growth Rate in the Garden
Genus Overview: Ferns
Ferns. The easy, elegant and exceptional beauty of ferns cannot be understated. All ferns, beautiful as specimens unto themselves, are extraordinary in their simple ability to provide rich contrast to other companions wherever their requirements befit.
Habituated to so many environments many of the ferny pteridophytes – vascular plants that reproduce by spores, not seeds - are woodland denizens thriving on the cool, damp forest floor like the Christmas Fern, Polystichum acrostochoides with some preferring the wetter disposition of bogs, swamps, and stream banks such as Osmunda cinnamomea. Others will colonize gritty soils in shade or sun like the running Hay-scented fern, Dennstaedtia punctilobula and many among the Cheilanthes. Some are tough enough to grasp a foothold in the crack of a rock, these are lithophytic, as with Asplenium trichomanes. And some – most of these tropical in origin are truly epiphytic, clinging to tree bark as they unfurl their fronds from embryonic croziers to reach into the forest light such as the primitive looking Staghorn Fern, Platycerium bifurcatum or Rabbit-foot Fern, Davallia fejeensis .
And many have historic medicinal uses such as Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum pedtaum – this from medicinalherbinfor.org, “Expectorant, anti-rheumatic, demulcent, pectoral, refrigerant, tonic”... Native Americans throughout North America used maidenhair as a hair wash to make their hair shiny.” And in a more Bacchanalian use: as a flavoring in liquers.
There was probably something fern-like, an ancient ferny forebear(s) if you will, living during the Devonian some 60 to 70 million years ago. Ferns, some we still recognize today are descendents from an ancient order whose reign during the Carboniferous Age is legend, where giant horsetails and monstrous club mosses still populate the misty recesses of our dreams... and whose contemporary plundering by Homo sapiens in the vast burning of fossil fuels is altering our climate at such an alarming rate that more among the many are beginning to query as to the potential for another mass extinction – the closing chapter of another age, a blip in the larger context of perceived time. But I digress....
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