Autumn Fern ‘Brilliance’
Autumn fern ‘Brilliance’ is a popular selection grown for its dramatic new fronds that emerge a coppery red all through the growing season. That’s especially obvious as the new fiddleheads unfurl each spring.
I’ve grown regular autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora) for 30 years. I like the fact that it’s evergreen. The only other evergreen fern that I grow is holly fern, and I have to worry about whether it’s going to brown with cold North Texas winters where I garden (Collin County). Autumn fern does not turn brown.
What you need to know about autumn fern…
• Full shade or morning sun with afternoon shade.
• Native to Japan and China.
• Winter hardy to Zone 5, so suited to all of Texas.
• Highly organic, consistently moist soil.
• Mature height 18-24 inches.
• Arching growth habit.
• Leaves emerge bright green, mature by early summer to rich, dark green looking much like Baker’s fern that florists use.
• Spreads by underground rhizomes to fill beds.
• Variety ‘Brilliance’ produces coppery new fronds.
• Don’t be surprised by the rows of spores that will develop on the backs of your ferns’ leaves. They’re the normal reproductive mode of these handsome plants – not some mysterious insect eggs!