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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
Athyrium niponicum var. pictum 'Ursula's Red'
JAPANESE PAINTED FERN
Pronounced: a-THI-ree-um nip-pon-IK-cum PIK-tum
Sunset zones: 1-9, 14-24.
USDA zones: 5-8.
Heat zones: 8-1.
Height: 16 inches (40 cm).
Width: 12 inches (30 cm).
Silver fronds with a flush of wine red down the center on purple-red central stipes (stems).
Partial (morning sun) to full shade .
Moist, humus rich, fertile, well-drained soil.
Side dress with two to three inches of compost or leaf mold each year in spring.
Divide in spring.
Rainy Side Notes
The popular Japanese painted fern took ferns to a new level with their multicolored fronds. Just when you thought painted ferns couldn't get any more colorful, along comes Athyrium 'Ursula's Red'. The only one more vibrant is A. 'Burgundy Lace' at least right now, or that I know of; who knows what breeders have up their sleeves. Bred by Ursula Hertz out of South Carolina and bearing her name, Ursula's Red has a slight weeping habit.
These ferns do not like to dry out, so keep the soil evenly moist during our summer drought. Water deeply and mulch to conserve moisture. The foliage on immature plants does not always show the silver and maroon hues. After two years, the frond's coloring will stabilize.
In bottom photo, the green fronds of Athyrium 'Ursula's Red' are from a one-year old plant; already small parts of the fronds are showing some paint.
Top image photographed at Terra Nova Nurseries.
Bottom image Photographed in author's garden.