Based on a phylogenetic analysis, this species has recently (2011) been transferred from Athyrium to the genus Anisocampium (see Yea-chen Liu, W.-L. Chiou & Masahiro Kato; Molecular phylogeny and taxonomy of the fern genus Anisocampium (Athyriaceae), Taxon 60: 824-828; 2011). This treatment is accepted by the Flora of China[
] and is followed here. However, it is possible that the entire genus Anisocampium will eventually be returned to Athyrium because of the difficulty of actually seperating the two genera based on physical characteristics[
Asplenium niponicum Mett.
Asplenium uropteron Miq.
Athyrium biondii Christ
Athyrium fissum Christ
Athyrium niponicum (Mett.) Hance
Athyrium uropteron (Miq.) C.Chr.
Athyrium yunnanense Christ
Common Name: Painted Fern
Photograph by: KENPEI
Photograph by: KENPEI
The culticar 'Metallicum'
Photograph by: Syker Fotograf
GNU General Public License
The cultivar 'Pictum'
Photograph by: Ram-Man
Anisocampium niponicum is a deciduous fern forming a cluster of arching fronds 30 - 75cm tall, exceptionally to 120cm, from a shortly creeping, ascending rhizome. The plant can spread at the roots to form colonies in optimum growing conditions[
The young fronds are sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food. The plant is often grown as an ornamental in grdens, there are some named forms.
Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[
Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase[
E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea, northeast India, Myanmar, Vietnam.
Shaded places in lowland all over Japan[
An easily grown plant growing besy in a humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil in part shade to full shade[
]. A calcifuge plant, it prefers an acid soil with a pH from 4.5 to 6.5, but can tolerate alkaline soils if plenty of leaf mould is added[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist sheltered site with moderately high atmospheric humidity[
]. Succeeds in a semi-shaded bog-garden or in damp woodland, also in garden borders in full or part shade[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
Very young fronds (croziers) - boiled[
]. Some caution is advised. See the notes above on toxicity.
Spores - surface sow in a pot of sterile compost in a shady part of the greenhouse and keep moist, this is most easily done by putting the pot in a plastic bag. Pot up small clumps of the plants when they are large enough to handle and keep them moist until they are established. Plant out in late spring of the following year.
Division in spring as plants come into growth. Larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whilst smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.