Athyrium filix-femina

Athyrium Filix-Femina

Athyrium filix-femina

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Athyrium filix-femina (Lady Fern or Common Lady-fern) is a large, feathery species of fern native throughout most of the temperate Northern Hemisphere, where it is often abundant (one of the more common ferns) in damp, shady woodland environments and is often grown for decoration.

The plant is caespitose (the fronds arising from a central point as a clump rather than along a rhizome). The fronds are light yellow-green, 20-90 cm long and 5-25 cm broad; they are deciduous. Sori appear as dots on the underside of the frond, 1-6 per pinnule. They are covered by a prominently whitish to brown reniform (kidney-shaped) indusium. Fronds are very dissected, being 3-pinnate. The stripe may bear long, pale brown, papery scales at the base.

Cultivation and uses

The rhizomes and young fronds are poisonous when raw, but edible after cooking.


  • Hyde, H. A., Wade, A. E., & Harrison, S. G. (1978). Welsh Ferns. National Museum of Wales.

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