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Re: Japanese Painted Fern

  • Subject: Re: [ferns] Japanese Painted Fern
  • From: Johnscott302@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 17:37:01 EDT

In a message dated 7/19/2004 1:50:05 PM Eastern Standard Time,  
ralpharcher@bellsouth.net writes:

I would  like to pick up the A. niponicum thread and ask a question regarding
the A.  niponicum cultivars.  We added four of the subject cultivars to  the
HFF Display garden at Whitehall Home in Louisville, KY USA a year ago  last
fall along with several plain A. niponicum 'Pictum' and two hybrids,  A. x
'Branford Beauty' and A. x Ghost . The cultivars are 'Ursula's  Red',
'Branford Rambler', 'Wildwood Twist' and 'Silver Falls'.    Almost two years
later, the 'Pictum' and the two hybrids are have started  to show the
distinct character associated with them, i.e. color and  form.  The four
cultivars do not look very much different from any  normal group of A.
niponicum 'Pictum'.

Has anyone had experience  with any of the cultivars for this long or longer
and if so, do they look  much different from the regular 'Pictum'?   I ask
this question  as it took about two years for our first planted native lady
fern cultivar,  A. f-f 'Lady in Red', to start to shine.  Now it is a  traffic
Ralph in Shelbyville, KY USA

My tentative conclusions at this point in time is that few if any of the  
"new" cultivars are any different from the normal variation in what you see in a  
nursery bed - to wit, last week I bought three very different looking 
'pictum'  from a local nursery, selected from about 30 pots, all slightly different.  
 They were then matched to the named varieties in my trial beds.
None of the new introductions really inprove upon my 25 year  old selections 
from Wildwood Nursery.
As to time -- I've had various forms for up to 40 years -- the same plants  
and divisions. Individual plants don't change much over time. However, there 
are  three distinct phases -- the early fronds, often quite striking; the mature 
 fond; and the late summer frond.
To the average viewer they are vaiable but not a dimes-worth of difference  !!
As to the 'Lady in Red' I rushed to buy early oftering 2 years ago  and got 
very disappointing stem color and slow enimic growth. They still  don't look 
like much in my woods.
However, I just bought a mature local nursery plant in a 1 gallon pot and  it 
is quite good -- 
hopefully it will settle in with better color. 
John Scott
Rockland Botanical Garden
PA --  z 5.5

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