Athyrium, Ghost Fern 'Ghost'


Family: Athyriaceae
Genus: Athyrium (uh-THEE-ree-um) (Info)
Cultivar: Ghost
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:



18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From spores

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Juneau, Alaska

Grand Junction, Colorado

Titusville, Florida

Yulee, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia

Augusta, Georgia

Cumming, Georgia

Marietta, Georgia

Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Alpena, Michigan

Bay City, Michigan

Fenton, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Saint Paul, Minnesota(2 reports)

Bronx, New York

Mahopac, New York

Southold, New York

Union Springs, New York

Elizabeth City, North Carolina(2 reports)

Morehead City, North Carolina

Weaverville, North Carolina

Cleveland, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Richfield, Ohio

Williamsburg, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania(2 reports)

Conway, South Carolina

Okatie, South Carolina

Knoxville, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

Mount Juliet, Tennessee

Leesburg, Virginia

Langley, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 4, 2007, gregr18 from Bridgewater, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

By growing these ferns in the sun, I've managed to keep their color a very light silvery/green. When in the shade, they seem to glow and attract a lot of admirers. They pair nicely with a False Solomon's Seal that usually grows into them, but is a bit stunted for some reason this year.


On May 18, 2007, Snowrose from Frederick, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

"Ghost Fern" is a garden hybrid of two deciduous ferns, the popular Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium niponicum var 'Pictum'), crossed with a Lady Fern (A. filix-femina). The breeder was Nancy Swell of Virginia.

Its upright triangular fronds have bluish to maroon midribs. The overall appearance is of such a light silvery grey-green that naming it 'Ghost Fern' was inspired. The silveriness is most stunning with new spring growth, hardening to blue-green in summer.

It has such a thick rhizome system that once established it can tolerate a surprising degree of dryness, though it cannot abid much sunlight, & moist well-draining soil is best especially when it is getting started.

As a sterile hybrid, it does not produce spoors but is easily propogated ... read more


On Apr 21, 2004, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A hybrid fern (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum x Athyrium filix-femina) noted for its silvery foliage set off by maroon or burgundy midribs. Coloration may fade to gray/green with the onset of high summer temperatures.