Saturday, January 17, 2009

Athyrium - part three

I've gotten the pictures up, but I'm freezing so I'm going to go and sit by the woodstove for awhile and will write all about these ferns at lunch time when it warms up a bit in here. 15 degrees below F. here this morning.
All right. A bit warmer now. Up to 20 outside and supposed to hit 30. That's almost a heat wave compared to what it has been.
This first one is Athyrium filix-femina, or European Lady Fern. It's deciduous and hardy to zone 4. It is very easy to grow, although somewhat delicate. Even though it prefers shade, it will tolerate a more sunny place if the soil stays moist. My fern book says that this is one of the most variable species in the world with over 300 different named forms. A good basic fern and so easy to find.
This second one is Athyrium ff (the common abbreviation for filix-femina) 'Victoria'. It is a bit taller than the species and the fronds are a bit heavier and more narrow. This has been quite vigorous since the one pictured was photographed in the spring after only being put in the previous fall.
This last one for today is Athyrium ff 'Dre's Dagger'. This has to be one of my all time favorites and is planted in several places. People always seem to notice it and ask what it is. I think it is pretty readily available. This one has tall, narrow fronds with cresting at the tips and also on the pinna (the individual branches) If I get the scanner out tomorrow, which I need to do for another project, I'll copy a diagram of the different parts of a fern. I don't usually remember all of them and certainly if I used them in conversation people wouldn't probably have a clue what I was talking about. Good to know, nevertheless, I suppose if you want to call yourself and plant person.

Hope you all are warmer than I am.

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