Autumn Ferns - Dryopteris erythrosora - Winter Evergreen - Zone 5b - December 2021
Back in May of this Spring, I planted three Autumn Ferns - Dryopteris erythrosora - that I picked up from a big box nursery in an area of the backyard that is becoming a little Japanese-garden-inspired section with a dwarf Japanese Tamukeyama Maple tree anchoring the bed. I took that photo this morning and it is striking when compared to EVERYTHING else around our yard.
Those three ferns are seemingly UNAFFECTED by the frost and the onset of Winter. Everywhere else I look, my ferns are gone. Ostrich ferns? Gone. Japanese Painted Ferns? Gone. Ghost Ferns? Gone. Lady Ferns? Gone. But, these? They're tall, proud and....GREEN. What the heck is going on?!?
When I planted them, I referenced this listing from the Missouri Botanic Garden that talks about how they are "semi-evergreen". I noted that in the original post, but I didn't think MUCH about it. I suppose, I should have because this is a pretty great feature. One of the things that I'm thinking about for 2022 (should be on my 2022 to-do list) is focusing on how I can add things to make our yard a four-season garden. These Autumn Ferns sure have Winter appeal, don't they? Seems like when I think about adding even more ferns to parts of the yard, even more of THESE should be close to the top of my list (2022 plant wish list is here).They didn't ask for much (other than water and shade) and are putting on quite a Winter show. I can think of ten other places to add these.
If you go scroll back up and take a closer look at the photo above, you'll also a few other evergreen items in the photo.