Perennial Plant Association Names Perennial Plant of the Year

December 10, 2003 - 14:47

                  The
Perennial Plant Association has named Athyrium niponicum style='font-style:normal'> ‘Pictum’ as the 2004 Perennial Plant of
the Year.

This low-maintenance Japanese
painted fern is a showy fern for shade gardens. It is so popular because of its
hardiness nearly everywhere in the United States, except for the desert and the
northern areas of USDA Zone 3. Pictum grows 18 inches tall that can make a
clump more then 2 feet wide when it multiplies. It produces 12- to18-inch fronds
that are a light shade of metallic silver gray with a hint of red and blue. It
prefers partial to full shade and works best in combination planters and
landscape beds.

This fern needs a well-drained,
compost-rich soil and flourishes where moisture and humidity abound. The best
frond color results in light shade. The colors are more intense in the spring
or in cooler temperatures or climates such as the Northwest. This fern is
extremely reliable when grown in the proper conditions. Its colorful foliage
should be vibrant from early spring 
until frost, when it will go dormant and reemerge in the spring.

The Perennial Plant of the Year was
initiated in 1990. Each year, member of the Perennial Plant Association select
a perennial that is suitable for a wide range of climate types, low
maintenance, easily propagated and exhibits multi-seasonal interest.

For more information visit www.perennialplant.org. You can
also find production information by Paul Pilon in the September 2003 issue of
GPN.

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