Phegopteris decursive-pinnata

Phegopteris decursive-pinnata

phegopteris-decursive-pinnata-rhrAs summer comes to a close, many plants have been performing all season long and have begun to look tired. An exception to that expectation is the shade-loving, groundcover alternative fern. Ferns add great texture and structure the understory of your tree canopy. A selection still looking good under the Metsequoia Allée is the Japanese beech fern.

Japanese beech fern (Phegopteris decursive-pinnata syn. Thelypteris decursive-pinnata) displays a very unique blend of lance-shaped fronds in both upright and arching positions.  This vigorous spreader forms runners, but is never a thug.  Referring to it as a groundcover would be pretty accurate.


The graceful fronds of Phegopteris decursive-pinnata with lighter green undersides lend brightness to shady gardens. photo credit: R. Robert

The graceful fronds with lighter green undersides lend brightness to shady gardens, and pair magically with plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) and Great Expectations hosta.    This deciduous fern generally grows 12-24” tall, and performs best with consistent moisture and good drainage.  It’s a wonderful addition to the shaded border or seasonal planter that still looks good at the end of the season.

Members can select their own Japanese beech fern as a plant dividend at the Fall Celebration on Sunday, October 16. Join today to get this garden gem for your shade garden.

Mary Tipping
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