Ferns make a shade garden. Their delicate, wispy fronds cool the mind almost as effectively as the air conditioner cools the body. And of the ferns, the favorite woodland fern of most gardeners is the beautiful silvery-white Japanese painted fern (Athyrium nipponicum pictum).

The Japanese painted fern is a hardy, deciduous fern that grows to 18 inches tall and wide. The fronds are twice compound with the blades silvery-white and suffused with green. The stem of the frond (the rachis) is red or purple, giving a delightful blend of colors that give rise to the common name.

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