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Ancient Garden



  • Common Name: Autumn
  • Scientific Name: Dryopteris erythrosora
  • Family Name: Dryopteridaceae
  • Origin: East Asia
  • Height: 1.5-2.5 ft
  • Width: 1.5-2.5 ft
  • Growth: Slow
  • Zone: 5-9
  • Light needs: Part shade to full shade
  • Salt tolerance: Low
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Prefers moist, well-drained humus-rich and organically rich soil, with a slightly acidic to neutral pH (pH 6.1-7.5)
  • Moisture: Requires consistently rich soil, so it should be watered regularly
  • Drought tolerance: Drought tolerant once established
  • Pests/Diseases: Mealybugs, aphids, and scale may occasionally pose a threat
  • Growing conditions: Prefers a shady area with moist soil, away from strong wind. If not planted in full shade, this plant should only receive morning or afternoon sunlight. Does best in the understory where the tree canopy provides shade and wind protection. Once fully established, this plant can handle some drought. If kept indoors, make sure this plant receives indirect light and pay special attention to soil moisture.
  • Characteristics: Has a clumping growth pattern. Individual fronds may grow to be up to 2 ft long. New fronds are characterized their bright orange-red or coppery colors, which will eventually turn green once the frond matures. The fronds are triangular, arching, with narrow lanceolate leaflets. Stems may be green or red. Spores grow in bright red sori, which are on the undersides of the leaves.
  • Propagation: By spores and division
  • Wildlife: Generally, it’s not bothered by deer or rabbits. Small animals may use it for shelter.
  • Facts: In the wild, this plant grows in woodlands on low mountains and hills. The species name, erythrosora, is ancient Greek, meaning “having red spore cases”.
  • Designer considerations: Makes for good ground cover or edging underneath trees due to its shade tolerance. Since it has no flowers, planning it with flowering plants can create a more dynamic look. Its red foliage pairs well with white or warm-toned flowers. Its leaves are also very detailed, so it can be placed near plants with a less dense texture for a more complete appearance.