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Re: Japanese Painted Ferns

I think that the real point is that some people, like me, feel that most of
the recently named cultivars of the Japanese painted fern are not
sufficiently different from the general population, which shows considerable
variation, to deserve cultivar status and a separate name. ( Applegate is
one that does.)  It can cause considerable ill will when the plant and the
picture turn out to be so different when the plant grows on in the garden.
I have a group of six named cultivars in the Whitehall garden that were
provided by reputable growers. After the first flush it is hard to
distinguish them from a planting of 'Pictum'. I am reminded of a comment by
a British fern writer, which was to the effect, that the Victorians named
many ferns that were indistinguishable one from the other except to the
person who named it.

I happen to garden in the lower Ohio valley in northern Kentucky. Our
climate is similar to eastern Kansas in the Missouri river area, although
our average annual rainfall is probably higher.  My painted ferns are not in
deep shade and it is not cloudy most of the time. Some lady ferns, here,
like the European and native A. filix-femina will tolerate a significant
amount of sun as well as or better than the Japanese painted, and also
always get bigger than clones grown in the shade. The operative factor is
sufficient moisture. Also, like the Japanese painted, these ferns are
usually lighter in color than those in shade.

Ralph Archer in Louisville, KY

----- Original Message ----- From: "Duane Petersen" <dpetersen11@cox.net>
To: <ferns@hort.net>
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2007 12:35 AM
Subject: Re: [ferns] Japanese Painted Ferns

It seems that everytime the subject of the Japanese Painted fern comes up,
the same people can't find any difference in any of them.  I suggest that
it is time that you take them out of the deep shade (particularly if you
live in a climate that tends to be cloudy most of the time) and move them
out into the SUN.   I raise a nice maroon and silver variety that I have
been selling for years.  Customers, I know folks are a little stupid here
in Kansas, buy more and more of them each year and send their friends to
do the same.   All of my Japanese Painted get at least an hour or more of
direct sun (mostly in the middle of the day)....yes it's bright and hot in
Kansas, and the green Japanese painted (it occurs approximatley once or
twice in 100 plants) has been planted on the west side of my house for the
lasts 15 years with full afternoon sun.  On an east facing wall in full
morning sun are my largest clump of regular Japanese Painted.
Hmmmmmmmmmmm.  Through sporing these ferns every year, and careful
selection, I now have a clump of green Japanese Painted that is over 3 ft.
tall, and still growing taller every year.  I also found that the crested
variety (usually called Applecourt) produces a beautifully crested green
variety about 1/5 of the time when grown from spore. The Japanese Painted
fern has a very complex genotype, that allows this great range of
variation.  If you would like pics of my Japanese Painted ferns, send me
your e-mail address, and I'll be happy to send them to you.
Duane Petersen wrote:

The Japanese Painted from spore are extremely variable, ranging from pure
green, to maroon and silver.  Size is also very variable.  While I don't
know which variation is being called 'metallicum', it is probably tissue
cultured (to cut down on variability), and could well turn out to be
significatly different to be worth the money.  By the way, don't expect
adult colors in juveniles.   Most Japanese Painted ferns take some time
to reach their adult corlors so the fern you are buying, if it is in a
2-4" pot, may show little color, and appear green.  Wait a while for that
Jolanda wrote:

Hi Fernatics all over the world,

The only book I could find, mentioning Athyrium 'metallicum', states it
as a synonym for Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum'. Is it really the same
thing, or is it one of the other cultivars in the group of Japanese
Painted Ferns?

Frondly regards

Jolanda Nel
(In an icy and white South Africa)

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