Ferns

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Acystopteris taiwaniana (new)

A particularly rare fern from the mountains of Taiwan, producing very finely divided light green tripinnate deciduous fronds to 30cm tall from a gently running rootstock. This should have a good hardiness and is suited to friable humus rich soil in shade

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Anemia mexicana (new)

A most unusual fern, from Mexico believe it or not. Known as the Flowering fern for some reason, probably because the totally green fertile fronds rise vertically through the pinnatifid, evergreen, sterile fronds in a somewhat flowery way, though they don't look remotely like flowers, per se. I've seen this in NE Mexico on well drained rather dry sites.

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Arachniodes davalliaeformis (new)

From the Southern Japanese islands comes this unusual species with very thick textured, though lacy, dark green fronds to 60cm tall. These are seemingly made of plastic and quite stiffly held, offering a most unusual look in the shade garden. For a sheltered and semi-shaded position in leafy soil, not too wet. Should be hardy across most of the UK.

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Arachniodes standishii (new)

The 'upside-down fern' from Japan and Korea has semi-evergreen, tripinnate, ovate, pale green fronds rather different from most in the genus, which reach up to 90cm. It also has the rather funky appearance of the fronds being upside down, which they are, of course, not. An unusual but hardy and easy fern for a humid semi-shade position in leafy soil.

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Athyrium filix-femina 'Dre's Dagger' (new)

A sport from the famous 'Victoriae' and resembling it in many ways, this has the fronds reduced to very narrow pinnae, held at a sharp angle to the rachis and usually criss-crossing each other in a three dimensional X; each frond and each pinnae ending with a crested tip. A much dwarfer form, to about 45cm. Easy in leafy shade to semi-shade.

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Athyrium filix-femina 'Lady in Red'

Athyrium filix-femina 'Lady in Red'

An excellent Lady fern, in fact a selection of the American var. angustum, with red stalked apple green fronds. Height 40cm. Semi-shade and moist acidic or neutral soil.

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Athyrium nipponicum var. pictum

The 'Japanese painted fern' has fronds variously marked with mauve-purple, silver-grey and grey-green creating a striking effect. Best in a semi-shaded site in leafy soil, not too dry, where it will spread slowly. Height 35cm.

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Athyrium otophorum

A colourful, very hardy Lady fern from Japan with fronds an unusual creamy-green with reddish stalks and veins. Great as a contrast in greener plantings. Ht 40cm. Semi-shade and humus rich soil.

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Blechnum brasiliense 'Volcano' (new)

A not too hardy but extremely handsome species from Brasil and Peru forming evergreen fronds to 75cm long, composed of very many narrow linear pinnae. The piece de resistance however is the colour of the new fronds, which emerge red. For pot culture, brought under cover in winter, where it should survive just a few degrees of frost.

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Cyrtomium devexiscapulae (new)

An unusual Holly fern with a wide range in Eastern Asia, but as yet rarely planted here. Up to 80cm high with glossy, leathery dark green fronds composed of long pointed well spaced pinnae (leaflets) in up to 10 pairs per frond. Suitable for a sheltered, shaded, humusy position in most areas. A good bold contrast to finer textured ferns etc.

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Doodia aspera 'Rough Ruby' (new)

Noted for its rough textured fronds that emerge pink-red, this Antipodean species produces said fronds from 15 to 45cm tall and enjoys a warm well drained position. From a gently spreading rootstock this forms patches. Best in the warmer parts of the UK and deciduous if grown outside here.

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Dryopteris erythrosora from Guizhou (new)

Collections from Guizhou, China with particularly good dark stipes (frond stalks). One of the finest garden ferns, being tough, vigorous, evergreen and colourful. New fronds emerge red-pink in spring, turning bronze then glossy-green, with the sori underneath bright red. Bi-pinnate, triangular fronds reach about 60cm high. Any reasonable soil in semi-shade.

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Dryopteris sieboldii

Dryopteris sieboldii

A most unusual and striking hardy fern from Japan. The pinnate fronds are composed of few, large, very leathery pale grey-green pinnae, and reach about 50cm. Looks good associated with exotic plants of contrasted with finer ferns. Semi-shade and leafy soil, but actually rather enjoys warm summers.

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Dryopteris wallichiana

Dryopteris wallichiana

A striking fern on account of the dark unfurling fronds. The effect is produced by the black or brown scales on the stalk which travel right up the underside of the frond. Fronds can reach up to 120cm and are rich green, long-lance-shaped and divided into many narrow pinnae. Good humusy soil in semi-shade.

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Leucostegia immersa PAB 7836 (new)

A low growing, spreading, deciduous fern collected on Shillong Peak, Meghalaya, NE India. Graceful, highly divided deltoid fronds to only 30cm emerge with a pink tinge. Remarkably hardy so far, but of course it hides from cold with underground rhizomes. Shade.

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Matteuccia struthiopteris

Matteuccia struthiopteris

Ostrich Plume Fern. Beautiful, symmetrical 'Shuttlecocks' of fresh, very light-green fronds in spring, opening out during summer. Spreads slowly underground to form a colony. Ht to 1m. Moist, even boggy soil in shade/semi-shade.

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Microlepia strigosa (new)

Highly attractive and most unusual in the UK the 'Lace Fern' has downy light green fronds to 90cm tall. Evergreen in mild gardens, this will be deciduous for many, where it should be perfectly hardy. This has a broad distribution in the wild, from the Himalayas, Asia, Japan, etc. For a shaded, preferably sheltered site.

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Microlepia strigosa 'MacFaddeniae' (new)

Originating in a California garden, this highly ornamental form of the Asian 'Lace Fern' has fronds along the same lines of the Tatting fern, Athyrium filix-femina 'Frizelliae', though longer and potentially evergreen. Evergreen in mild gardens, this will be deciduous for many, where it should be perfectly hardy. For a shaded, preferably sheltered site.

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Onoclea sensibilis Copper form

Onoclea sensibilis Copper form

The ununusal copper-red tinted form. An easy, hardy and very distinct fern from N America, spreading to form patches in moist ground. In this rare form the fronds emerge red tinted and turn bright-green later, retaining colour in the stalk. Easily kept under control in small gardens as the rhizomes are not deep.

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Phymatosorus diversifolius (new)

From Australia and New Zealand this Polypodium relative is sometimes found as an epiphyte on imported tree fern trunks. Can form impressive colonies as a climbing plant on trees, banks or walls in mild areas, even up to 5m off the ground. Glossy evergreen fronds are either simple, as juveniles, or pinnatifid, as adult. Not tried outside here yet but fine in an unheated polytunnel.

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