Athyrium niponicum

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Athyrium niponicum
Japanese Painted Fern Athyrium nipponicum 'Pictum' Leaf 1500px.jpg
Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum'
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Pteridopsida
Order: Athyriales
Family: Athyriaceae
Genus: Athyrium
Species: A. niponicum
Binomial name
Athyrium niponicum
(Mett.) Hance

Athyrium niponicum is a species of fern in the genus Athyrium, native to eastern Asia in Japan, northern China, Korea and Taiwan.

It is a deciduous herbaceous plant, with whorls of fronds growing from spreading rhizomes. The fronds are 25-40 cm tall and 15-25 cm broad, pinnate, with 6-10 pairs of pinnae 4-9 cm long and 2-3 cm broad, deeply lobed, bright green with a dark red-brown stem in the wild plant, with the spore-bearing sori on the underside of the fertile pinnae.

The species name is sometimes cited as "nipponicum".

Cultivation and uses[edit]

It is grown as an ornamental plant in gardens; several cultivars have been selected, including 'Pictum' (Japanese Painted Fern) with pale silvery-green fronds and a bright red stem, 'Red Beauty' with yellow fronds and a bright red stem, and 'Pictum Cristatum' with crested fronds. 'Metallicum' is noted for its variegated silver, green and red foliage.