Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dryopteris erythrosora

Today, slightly out of alphabetical order (by Latin name) we'll start the Dryopteris, this one the Autumn Fern (see we're alphabetical if we stick to English). The Dryopteris are probably the second largest group of ferns that are available easily commercially. Also the second largest group represented in my garden.
I have always liked the Autumn Fern because it is like getting two plants in one. This is what you see for most of the summer.
This is late spring/early summer.

But this is what you see in the spring when they first come up. I don't know of any other fern in my garden that has this color on the new fronds. They hold the color until it gets hot and then gradually change to all green. They are supposed to be evergreen, but that's not always the case here.

This is another Asian native, from Japan, China and Taiwan and you can expect it to get about 2 feet tall. The clumps expand gradually. This one is pretty dependable and we have had them in the garden pretty much since it changed from all vegetables to ornamentals, so they are a long-lived plant. Commonly available and not expensive - another plus for any plant this nice.

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