Hardy, North American perennial
Description: Erect, yellowish-green, delicately textured fern with fronds taper at the tip and at the base. Deciduous.
Habit: Grows to 18 inches high. Spreads indefinitely by underground rhizomes.
Culture: Prefers moist, moderately fertile, acidic soil and partial shade.
Hardiness: Cold hardy to USDA Zones 2 through 8
Origin: North America
This classic North American plant is found in damp wooded hillsides, and pond and stream margins from Newfoundland to Georgia and grows abundantly at Monticello. It was named by Linnaeus in 1753 and is similar in appearance to the Lady Fern (Athyrium sp.), except for the tapering of the fronds at the base and its spreading, rather than clump-forming habit. Hardy ferns were being cultivated in America by the mid-19th century and horticultural books contained lengthy descriptions of cultural techniques. Ferns were often recommended for planting in a rock-work. This species is an excellent groundcover in shady gardens.