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Dryopteris erythrosora 'Brilliance' (autumn fern)

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Hardy fern grow sheet

Dryopteris erythrosora 'Brilliance'

autumn fern

Autumn fern is a colorful groundcover with pink fiddleheads that turn coppery orange as they unfurl. Fronds age to a lustrous dark green and remain well into winter. New growth continues through the season, giving a colorful tapestry effect of copper and green from spring to late fall.

SIZE
Dryopteris erythrosora 'Brilliance' LP32 - 32 per flat Availability
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Height

18-30 Inches

Spread

18-30 Inches

Spacing

12 Inches

Bloom Color

USDA Hardiness Zone 5-8

autumn fern Interesting Notes

Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’ is a colorful groundcover with orange, red-rose, and salmon colored fiddleheads that turn coppery orange as they unfurl. Fronds age to a lustrous dark green and remain well into winter. New growth continues through the season, giving a colorful tapestry effect of copper and green from spring to late fall. In milder climates, autumn fern is evergreen. Growing 18”-30” tall and same as wide, its vase-shaped stature provides a lovely foil in mass or as a specimen planting.  

Dryopteris erythrosora is native to woodland hillsides and mountain slopes in Japan, China, and Taiwan. Autumn fern grows well in moist woodlands and shade gardens and can be used as a groundcover in woodland areas. It prefers moist, well-drained acidic soils in full to partial shade and is intolerant of sites with compacted or poor soils. Over time, autumn fern spreads slowly by rhizome.

While Dryopteris erythrosora all have great color when the new fronds emerge in early spring, ‘Brilliance’ is noted for the brighter red growth that lasts well into spring compared to the straight species. The red color returns again after the first frost in fall, making it a twice as delightful in the shade garden. It’s a beautiful textural contrast to shade plantings and combines well with heuchera, anemone, Geranium maculatum, and shade-loving asters. 

Named a Florida plant of the year for 1998 by the Florida Nurserymen & Growers Association. It is well suited for container production under shade cloth and can be treated like other shade perennials such as hostas.

Dryopteris erythrosora 'Brilliance' Growing and Maintenance Tips

Prefers moist, rich, well-drained, acidic soils in full to partial shade. Intolerant of drought, compacted or poor soils. Spreads slowly by rhizomes. It has no serious pest or disease problems, but does require evenly moist soil. If plants begin to dry out, they will wilt and change color slightly as a warning they need more water. Propogate by spore or division. 

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Shade
Full Shade
Part Sun
Part Sun
Moist
Moist
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Groundcover
Groundcover
Evergreen
Evergreen

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Average
Green Infrastructure
Woodland
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Attributes
Ornamental Foliage
Propagation Type
Tissue culture