Family: Dryopteridaceae

Scientific Name: Athyrium niponicum pictum Wildwood Twist

Common Name: Wildwood Twist Japanese Painted Fern


Wildwood Twist Japanese Painted Fern is a newer cultivar of the familiar Japanese Painted Fern.

Plant TypeFerns - Hardy
Hardiness Zone4-7
Sunlightbest foliage color with some dappled sun, best grown in partial shade to shade, easily scorches in the hot dry sun
Moisturemoist, average, avoid dry sites
Soil & Siteaverage, humusy
Flowersnon-flowering, reproduce by spores through alternation of generaton
Leavessmokey gray and green with a slight twist
Dimensions12-18 inches by 12-18 inches, irregular growth habit
Maintenancetop dressing of compost each year
Propagationdivision, will show a degree of variation in colors when grown from spores
Misc FactsWas tested in the 2002-2014 Chicago Botanic trials and received a 5 out of 5. Athyrium is for some authorities derived from Greek athuros (spiritless) with reference to botanical characteristics of lady-fern (Athyrium filix-femina), and for others from Greek anthyros (doorless) or anthoros (breeding well), both the latter in relation to the reproductive cycle and spores. (
Author's NotesI have seen many plantings of various cultivars of the Japanese Painted Fern. One thing is evident. They look vary different depending on the growing site, and time of year. Some seem to revert or reseed back to one of their original parents. Secret to growing these: moist, humusy soil, some dappled sun and avoid dry.
Notes & Reference#144-Missouri Botanical Gardens web site (
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