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Dryopteris erythrosora

Pronunciation: Dry-op-teer-iss air-rith-roe-sor-uh
Family: Aspleniaceae
Common Name: Autumn fern, japanese shield fern, japanese wood fern
Plant Type:
  • fern
  • perennial
Height to: 2'
Width to: 2'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • full shade
Bloom Description: Foliage
Notes for Identification: This finely divided, dark green fern has a delicate appearance but is actually a very hardy survivor. Its slowly spreading habit and ability to tolerate neglect make it an ideal candidate for use as a groundcover. This underutilized plant is one of the few ferns to have seasonal color value; the fronds appearing reddish when young. It combines well with mahonia fortuneii and holly fern for a mixed planting in a shady location. It will grow to about 18 inches tall with single plants spreading no more than 24 inches. general information planting month for zone 7: year round planting month for zone 8: year round planting month for zone 9: year round planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round origin: not native to north america uses: mass planting; edging availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant description height: 1 to 2 feet spread: 1 to 2 feet plant habit: upright plant density: moderate growth rate: slow texture: fine foliage leaf arrangement: most emerge from the soil, usually without a stem leaf type: bipinnately compound leaf margin: lobed leaf shape: oblong leaf venation: pinnate; none, or difficult to see leaf type and persistence: evergreen leaf blade length: less than 2 inches leaf color: purple or red fall color: no fall color change fall characteristic: not showy flower flower color: no flowers flower characteristic: no flowersa fruit fruit shape: unknown fruit length: unknown fruit cover: unknown fruit color: brown fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy trunk and branches trunk/bark/branches: not applicable current year stem/twig color: not applicable current year stem/twig thickness: not applicable culture light requirement: plant grows in the shade soil tolerances: clay; sand; acidic; loam drought tolerance: soil salt tolerances: poor plant spacing: 18 to 24 inches other roots: not applicable winter interest: no special winter interest outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more invasive potential: not known to be invasive pest resistance: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant use and management requiring shady conditions, autumn fern grows in any good forest loam and has good drought tolerance. It can withstand an hour or two of direct sun. California ratings state autumn fern is accepting of temperatures ranging from 109- degrees f. Down to 3-degrees f. Its slow growth habit makes the plant expensive to purchase but it is well worth it. This is truly a no-maintenance plant. Plant on 12 to 18-inch centers to establish a solid ground cover. Fronds can be cut and used in vases for indoor greenery but will last only three or four days. Propagation is by division or by spores. Pests and diseases no pests or diseases are of major concern. Source: u. S. Department of agriculture, cooperative extension service, university of florida, ifas
USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 30 to 45 days ZONE 5
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Perennials
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