Athyrium filix-femina (Southern Lady Fern) Unity Grown
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Athyrium filix-femina, commonly referred to as lady fern or southern lady fern, is low-maintenance native ornamental fern that thrives in part to full shade, and grows best in organically rich, moist, well drained soil. Noted for its light green fronds and darker colored central veins, lady fern tolerates drier soil and light sun better than most ferns, but still prefers things on the moist, cool end of the spectrum.
As moderately sized ferns, mature lady fern can reach two to three feet tall with a spread of up to two and a half feet per specimen. This easy to grow fern is ideal for small spaces, rock gardens and woodland gardens, but will thrive in any shady, moderately wet location. In terms of ecological benefit, a lack of flowers means that Athyrium filix-femina won't attract pollinators, but as a host plant for several species of moth and butterfly, southern lady fern serves as food for caterpillars of several species including the Florida fern moth (Callopistria floridensis) and the brown angle shades (Phlogophora periculosa).