The 'Japanese Painted Fern', Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum', is a low maintance, deciduous fern with soft grayish-green and silvery dark maroon foliage. Being the Perennial of the Year for 2004, one can see why. 'Japanese Painted Fern' has a plant spread of 24' and a height of 24' and a must to any garden. 'Japanese Painted Fern' requires full shade, however, small amounts of afternoon sun give the most vibrant color to its foliage. A well-drained area is best, not allowing it to dry out. Perfect as a border plant, planted near streams or ponds or as an accent plant. It will contrast well with Hosta 'Patriot' or Heuchera 'Palace Purple'. Best of all, the Japanese Painted Fern can help with erosion control, while presenting minimal wind resistance.
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Information source: University of Missouri - Horticulture