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Athyrium otophorum (limelight lady fern)
Image courtesy of Richie Steffen

Click here to download technical information for growers:

Hardy fern grow sheet

Athyrium otophorum

limelight lady fern or eared lady fern

Clumping fern
Pastel highlights
Raspberry stems

The new foliage presents in a limey-pastel and adds drama to the overall appearance of this fern. The fronds mature to a medium green which causes a unique two-toned appearance through out the season.

Athyrium otophorum LP32 - 32 per flat Availability
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15-24 Inches


15-18 Inches


12 Inches

Bloom Color

Mixed Colors

USDA Hardiness Zone 5-9

limelight lady fern Interesting Notes

Athyrium otophorum, or eared lady fern, has raspberry stems on the auriculate (eared) foliage. This is a very striking contrast against the new chartreuse-lime foliage and adds subtle accent on the mature green foliage, creating an overall two tone appearance throughout the season. This fern is completely deciduous - faithfully returning with vigor in the spring. Typically, it grows 18” tall featuring erect, triangular fronds, and spreads slowly by rhizome to about 18”.

Eared lady fern grows well in the heavy shade of woodlands and in humus rich moist soils. However, it also grows well in average, well-drained soils in part to full shade. In-season, it is important to give this fern ample water as the tender, light-colored new growth can be subject to scorch.

Lady ferns provide groundcover nesting habitat for wildlife and are a strong and dependable feature in any shade or woodland garden.

Good Substitutions

limelight lady fern Athyrium otophorum
Japanese painted fern Athyrium niponicum 'Regal Red'
limelight lady fern Athyrium otophorum
Japanese painted fern Athyrium niponicum var. pictum

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Shade
Full Shade
Part Sun
Part Sun
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Cut Flower
Cut Flower

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Green Infrastructure
Ornamental Foliage
Propagation Type