Ferns

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These wonderful, airy, shade-loving plants tend to be a soft-spoken group. Most like a rich humus soil with good drainage. High sodium content in water can be injurious to most ferns. Nearly all do best in dappled shade, not in full shade of Hemlocks and Maples but rather the kind of light found at the wood's edge.

ATHYRIUM angustum forma rubellum 'Lady in Red'™
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Lady Fern
height: 30-36" zone: 3 habit: clumping
Vibrant burgundy color runs through the stem creating a sharp contrast with green fronds. This deciduous fern is fantastic in any shade garden. Do not fertilize with nitrogen for brightest color. Full color appears within 2nd dormancy and maturity.
ATHYRIUM filix-femina
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Lady Fern
height: 18-24" zone: 4 habit: erect
Deciduous, wide, green fronds are lobed twice on red stalks. A vigorous grower combines well with other woodland plants, or massed near water edges. Grows in rich soil in partial shade.
ATHYRIUM niponicum 'Pictum'
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Japanese Painted Fern
height: 12-18" zone: 4 habit: erect-arching
New fronds have a wine-red tint blended with soft gray hues making an attractive combination when planted as a border with other woodland plants. Too much sun will wash the color from this deciduous fern.
ATHYRIUM n. 'Ghost'
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Ghost Fern
height: 18-24" zone: 4 habit: erect
Upright growth with silver-white foliage. Happy in dry or moist soils. A cross between Lady fern and Japanese Painted fern. Especially effective when planted with adjacent dark foliage plants.
DRYOPTERIS carthusiana (spinulosa)
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Toothed Wood Fern
height: 24-30" zone: 2 habit: erect-arching
Narrow semi-evergreen fronds form dark green clusters. Nice in mass plantings in moist soil. Common in swamps and wet woods. Rich woodland soil for best growth.
DRYOPTERIS erythrosora
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Autumn Fern
height: 18-24" zone: 5 habit: arching
Young fronds emerge a coppery contrast against the green glossy evergreen fronds from the past season. Use as a specimen in a woodland garden. Will tolerate sunny moist location.
FERN erythrosora 'Brilliance'
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Brilliance Autumn Fern                                                                icon imageicon image
height: 22-26"  zone: 5  habit: arching
Fronds turn from bright copper to soft green to russet-orange again, all on an evergreen habit that looks great in the partly shaded bed or border. Best leaf color is achieved in part sun. Will tolerate dry conditions once established.
DRYOPTERIS filix-mas
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Male Fern
height: 24-30" zone: 4 habit: erect
Deciduous deep green crested fronds prefer shady, moist location. A garden favorite, use as a dependable accent or for mass beauty.
DRYOPTERIS marginalis
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Leather Wood Fern
height: 18-30" zone: 2 habit: erect-arching
Bluish-green evergreen fronds are deeply lobed with a leathery texture. Use as a year- round feature in a woodland garden. Shady cool sites away from the sun and windy areas are best.
MATTEUCCIA struthiopteris
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Ostrich Fern
height: 3-5' zone: 4 habit: erect
Deciduous fronds are ostentatious. Tall and lovely, likes acidic, moist soil, great accent.
OSMUNDA cinnamomea
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Cinnamon Fern
height: 3-4' zone: 3 habit: erect
Deciduous pale green fronds with "cinnamon" sticks standing taller than the foliage in late spring. Useful along water edges. Tolerates sunny moist locations. In fall becomes a delightful golden color.
OSMUNDA regalis
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Royal Fern
height: 4-5' zone: 3 habit: erect
Majestic deciduous fronds resembling locust leaves, opening to a wine color and becoming green with age. Does best in moist shade for borders or along water edges.
POLYSTICHUM acrostichoides
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Christmas Fern
height: 12-24" zone: 3 habit: arching
Robust evergreen fern is native and common in the moist woods of eastern North America, making beautiful patches of green in winter snow. Useful as a backdrop for smaller plants.
POLYSTICHUM polyblepharum
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Japanese Tassel Fern
height: 18-24" zone: 5 habit: arching
Glossy evergreen fronds with a lacy appearance. Prefers dense shade with rich garden soil and consistent moisture. Excellent dependable fern with delicate beauty.
POLYSTICHUM tsus-simense
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Korean Rock Fern
height: 12-18" zone: 4 habit: erect
Dainty, compact, evergreen fern with fronds that emerge purple becoming dark green and leathery textured when mature. Use as an accent in the garden or rocky areas to soften.

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