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
Autumn Foliage: yes
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
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 ...
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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.
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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: 2015-10-02
Research By: TWC Staff