Group of dryopteris erythrosora 'Brilliance' (Autumn Fern) in pots.
A close up of orange and green autumn fern leaves.
A close up of orange and green autumn fern leaves.

Dryopteris erythrosora 'Brilliance' (Autumn Fern)

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Originally native to Japan, Dryopteris erythrosora 'Brilliance' is a striking ornamental fern cultivar, popular for a variety of garden types and and looks thanks to its attractive, color-changing, semi-evergreen foliage. Also called autumn fern, Dryopteris erythrosora grows to about 2' tall and wide, in small, vase-like clumps. Noted for its dramatic color changing effects, young fronds emerge in shades of coppery orange and pink, before maturing to bright, vivid greens. In the fall, foliage again takes on an orange or coppery hue, accented beautifully by the small red spore-producing structures, called sori, on the underside of the leaves.

Though not a true native, autumn fern is a popular choice for ornamental landscaping, as nothing else truly rivals its color in terms of ferns. Once established, Dryopteris erythrosora 'Brilliance' can develop an extensive root system that makes it difficult to remove, but is not known to spread of become invasive. These extensive roots make 'Brilliance' autumn fern an excellent choice for erosion control and rain garden planting, and plants are additionally resistant to damage from both rabbits and deer!

Mature Plant Height:Short: 12-29"
Part Shade/Sun (4-6 hours of sun) and Full Shade (less than 4 hours of sun)
Soil Moisture: Medium to Wet, Well-drained, and Wide Tolerance
Soil Type: Acidic, Rich Organic Matter, and Average
Foliage Color: Green and Purple
Features: Groundcover, Fall Color, Host Plant for Butterflies or Moths, and Erosion Control
Tolerances: Deer Tolerant, Shade Tolerant, Wet Soil Tolerant, and Rabbit Tolerant
Garden Type: Woodland Garden, Small Space, Container, and Rain Garden

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