Athyrium niponicum (Japanese Silver Painted Fern) [synonym A. goeringianum ‘Pictum’]

Easily noted for its distinguishing foliage, Japanese Silver Painted Ferns live up to their name by producing silver fronds, with best colors in partial shade. They form clumps as spring turns to summer, which lie dormant over winter.

Athyrium niponicum (Japanese Silver Painted Fern) [synonym A. goeringianum ‘Pictum’)
Family: Woodsiaceae
Subspecies: ‘Pictum’, var. Pictum ‘Burdgundy Lace’
Native: Japan, other oriental countries
Hardiness Zones: 5-8 (possibly to zone with winter protection and zone 9 with protection from brutal summer conditions)
Height: to 45 centimeters (18 inches) tall
Diameter: to 45 centimeters (18 inches) wide
Root System: deep and extensive once established
Growth Rate: moderate
Age: perennial
Deciduous: yes

Tolerates: heavy shade, very brief droughts once established, herbivores (deer)
Problems (major): Intolerant of drying out when young or recently transplanted.
Problems (minor): Foliage burns in full sun and is susceptible to rust.
Poisonous: no
Soil requirements: requires consistently moist, acidic, well-drained soils
Air requirements: prefers high humid
Watering requirement: moderate (prefers consistently moist soil)
Sun requirement: partial to full shade

Fronds: triangular, deep green with silver to blue central vein (variegated), others silver with a purple central vein, weeping, maroon rachis (petiole from first leaflet to tip of petiole) to 50 centimeters (20 inches) long, drooping
Fiddleheads: emerge in early spring, not particularly showy
Rhizomes: short, clumping
Spores: present on undersides of foliage
Epiphyte: no
Arborescent: no
Notable characteristics:
The fronds of A. niponicum (var. pictum especially) have beautiful silver-bluish hues that come out most prominently in light or dappled shade.

These are typically grown as garden ornamentals for their exciting foliage.

Sources used:

Color variation in different parts of individual fronds
Low-lying form

All of the images provided were taken by me. They may be used for educational/informational purposes only, provided that this article/online journal is appropriately cited first.


Leave a comment

Filed under Plant Analysis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s