Monday, January 19, 2009

Athyrium nipponicum

Japanese Painted Ferns, Athyrium nipponicum 'Pictum' have to be one of my favorites. The self-spore, I guess that's what you'd call it, readily all around the garden and the coolest thing is that they don't come true from spore. Now in some things, that would be considered a fault, but with these ferns, what it comes down to is that you get all sorts of color combinations from plain green (still lovely) to silver to burgundy to pale green and any combination of those you can imagine. Here are just 2 pictures of the many we have growing. This will be one of the first ferns to succumb to the cold in the fall, but it returns quite reliably every spring, in fact in a much larger clump most times. You will find them popping up all over the place - much more that any other fern I know, not counting those that spread by runners.
Both of these are slightly silvery, but you can see that the second one has a lot of burgundy, much more silver and not a lot of green. Both are seedlings and not at all like my original plant.
We got several inches of snow overnight, rather unexpected, I think, and it is just lovely out there this morning. Best thing is that I can wear my new snow boots out when I go to feed the birds. I was beginning to think that they wouldn't be needed this winter when all we were getting was flurries. I would, however, appreciate seeing the sun for a change. This has been one of the cloudiest winters I can remember.

1 comment:

Donna at Suburban Sanctum said...

Very interesting about these ferns "self-sporing" themselves around the garden. I hadn't heard that before. I planted a couple of these two summers ago. I'm curious to see what kind of "babies" I get. I hope they are as attractive as yours! Thanks for the info.