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Dryopteris formosana (new)
A great rarity from the mountains of Taiwan and Japan with rather shiny evergreen pentagonal fronds held out horizontally, giving a golden-green sheen in summer. Drought tolerant and tough in semi to shaded sites. Slow into growth in the summer.
Dryopteris kuratae (new)
A relatively newly described species from Japan, this is still rare in cultivation, yet easy to grow in average ferny conditions in shade to semi-shade. Tapering lance-shaped, pinnate fronds reach 60cm tall and arch out from the centre. Semi-evergreen.
Dryopteris lepidopoda (new)
Similar in many ways to D. wallichiana, but far more colourful, with foliage emerging pink then turning coppery-bronze and finally a slightly glossy green. From the Himalaya, this reaches 60cm high with lance-shaped fronds. For ferny soil in semi-shade to shade. Hardy.
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.
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.
Histiopteris incisa (new)
Found from temperate southern hemisphere to the tropics, this spreading fern bears distinctive, tri-pinnately divided pale glaucous green fronds from 60 to 120cm tall. Hardy across most of the UK, especially if mulched.
Hypolepis millefolium (new)
The Thousand Leaved Fern. Bright green very softly hairy fronds are very finely divided, making for a distinct look in gardens, and rise above a gently spreading rhizome. From sub-alpine areas in New Zealand this is hardy across the UK in neutral to acid soils and ferny conditions. Height 60cm.
Matteuccia orientalis (new)
An Asian relative of the European shuttlecock fern, but very different, bearing wide spreading broader fronds on long stipes. A particularly handsome thing with a distinctive look in the garden, requiring a reasonably wind sheltered site and a not too dry soil. Height 60-90cm. Hardy.
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.
Matteuccia struthiopteris 'Jumbo' (new)
For those who like things big, this is a large form of the Ostrich Plume or Shuttlecock Fern with fronds up to 1.5m tall; named in the USA but originally from European stock. Beautiful, symmetrical 'Shuttlecocks' of fresh, very light-green fronds in spring, opening out during summer. Spreads slowly underground to form a colony. Moist, even boggy soil in shade/semi-shade. Hardy.
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.
Microlepia strigosa 'MacFaddeniae'
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.
Microsorum henryi (new)
Best suited to pot culture, unless you live in a mild area like the west coast or Central London, where it could be tried outside. A clump forming evergreen from warmer parts of Asia, this has lots of long, very slim, shiny fronds, with undulating margins; the underside of adult fronds with two opposite rows of orange sori.
Onoclea sensibilis Copper form
An unusual copper-red tinted form. An easy, hardy and very distinct looking fern from N America, the pinnatifid fronds with broad flattened frilly edged segments. Spreads to form patches in moistish 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.
Paesia scaberula (new)
A very pretty little fern from New Zealand with tripinnate very finely divided fronds. A coloniser in the wild, this is much better behaved in cultivation in colder areas like the UK and makes a neat clump. Rickard rates it as Zone 7 in Central England, so clearly tougher than we think, though mulch the rhizomes with straw if you're scared.
Parablechnum cordatum (syn. Blechnum chilense)
A particularly robustly handsome South American evergreen fern producing very bold, very leathery, darkest green fronds with many opposite pinnae. Slowly spreads to form patches, with fronds reaching about 1m, or up to 1.5m if moist and sheltered. Humus rich acid to neutral soil in semi-shade, or sun if moist. Hardy throughout the UK.
Parathelypteris beddomei (new)
A ground covering fern from Korea, rarely seen in cultivation, though very hardy and easily grown in moist woodland conditions. Tapering fronds with up to 30 or more pairs of pinnae rise from a creeping rootstock. A good ground covering species only 45cm tall, good for mingling around taller and bolder subjects.
Pellaea viridis (new)
A distinctive handsome, evergreen fern with vivid, glowing green fronds, composed of angular pinnae and contrasting black stipes, to about 60cm. Full hardiness unknown, it requires very well drained compost and good light. Happy overwintered in a cool conservatory.
Phymatosorus diversifolius (syn. Microsorum)
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 excellent on the West coast.
Polypodium 'Whitley Giant'
Previously very obscure, but now getting about a bit, this is close to P. cambricum, though has longer and broader fronds, making for a very handsome polypody. Pinnatifid fronds to 40cm from a gently creeping rootstock, eventually forming a nice patch. For reasonably well drained, even rocky soil in semi-shade.
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