Athyrium filix-femina (L.) Roth
Common Lady Fern, Subarctic Lady Fern, Lady Fern, Ladyfern
Dryopteridaceae (Wood Fern Family)
USDA Symbol: atfi
Highly variable in appearance over its range, Subarctic lady fern is typically a large, clustered fern, 2-3 ft. tall. Its light-green color and twice-pinnate fronds with finely toothed leaflets create the illusion of a dainty fern, despite its large size. Stems are greenish-yellow to red.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Autumn Foliage: yes
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.
DistributionUSA: AK , AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: BC , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE
Native Distribution: Nearly cosmopolitan; divisible into a number of geographic races
Native Habitat: Forest, Woodland, Wet Meadow, Prairie, Field, Swamp, Marsh, Lakeshores
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist, humus-rich soils.
PropagationDescription: Division or spores.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Michigan native plants for shady, low traffic area
May 10, 2006
Hello, I am looking for a recommendation for a Michigan native groundcover. I live adjacent to the Rouge River watershed and want to buy the right thing. The location is shady, infrequently walked ...
view the full question and answer
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA
Longwood Gardens - Kennett Square, PA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America - beta site (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Athyrium filix-femina in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Athyrium filix-femina in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Athyrium filix-femina
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-11-23
Research By: TWC Staff