Athyrium filix-femina ‘Frizelliae’

tatting fern

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

This delightful fern – often referred to as tatting fern – adds a sense of whimsy and character to any garden. Athyrium filix-femina 'Frizelliae' is a deciduous fern that emerges with bright green fronds that have a distinctive beaded look. Each frond is 12 to 18 inches long and lined with small leaflets (called pinnules) shaped like a tiny, rounded fan. These alternate along the stem (rachis), and give the appearance of the knots and loops of tatted lace.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: fern

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 1 ft. 9 in. (0.53 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 1 ft. 9 in. (0.53 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 8

Flower Color: none

Sun/Light Exposure: light to dappled shade

Water Requirements: regular watering

Seasonal Interest: unique spring and summer foliage

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Anemone nemorosa, Asplenium trichomanes, Epimedium ‘Yubae’, Erythronium ‘Pagoda’, Mukdenia rossii ‘Karasuba’, Primula ‘Guinevere’, Tricyrtis ‘Tojen’

Great Color Contrasts: white, black, bronze

Great Color Partners: chartreuse, green

Culture Notes
This unusual fern is best in light, open or dappled shade with rich well drained soil. Avoid locations with hot afternoon sun to keep the delicate foliage from burning. Provide an open location with limited competition from other plants along with regular summer watering. The fresh green fronds of this fern are some of the earliest to go dormant at the end of the season. Once the foliage looks tattered it can be cut to the ground. This strain has always produced a few plants with non-conforming fronds. Only buy plants that have all beaded fronds; if non-conforming fronds arise, they should be removed to maintain a consistent appearance.