Deparia japonica Black lady fern

Synonyms Athyrium japonicum, Diplazium japonicum, Lunathyrium japonicum, Athyriopsis japonica Epithet means "from Japan."

Deciduous, 1 to 2 ft. (30 to 60 cm).Zones 6 to 9. Dimorphic.

description: The branching rhizome is short-creeping. Stipes are dark and scaly at the base with scales and hairs continuing upwards through the length of the frond. Bipinnatifid sterile blades are oblong and the taller, erect fertile blades are narrower with 12 to 16 pairs of pinnae. Sori with linear-in-rolled indusia are arranged in a herringbone pattern along the veins adjacent to the pinnae midribs.

range and habitat: Widespread in nature from the Himalayas, China, Korea, Japan, and Malaysia, this species grows in moist woodlands.

culture and comments: Dark forest-green to black-green fronds are a striking feature and should be used to visual advantage by juxtaposing this fern with lighter colored and/or feathery textured companions. Give it shade and a consistent supply of moisture. it reputedly breaks dormancy late in spring but is a welcome guest whenever it joins the garden party. This species is extremely similar to D. petersenii and often considered synonymous. The botanical differences as noted in Flora of Japan (Iwatsuki et al. 1995) are minute: the inrolled indusia and the gradually tapering terminal portion of the frond distinguish this species from D. petersenii, which has a flat indusia and an abruptly tapering frond apex.

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