Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’
Western Sword Fern
Delicate in appearance, but a hardy survivor in nature, The Japanese Shield Fern is a show-stopping specimen that provides a lot of seasonal interest and has a slowly spreading habit deserving of its popularity amongst garden designers.
Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’ has finely divided dark green leaves which, unusually for ferns, has seasonal colour value. Young fronds unfurl with a reddish hue, turning to a coppery pink before maturing into a deep glossy green. In autumn particularly bright orange-red spores appear on the undersides of the leaves, hence the other common name ‘Autumn Fern’.
The Japanese Shield Fern is native to Japan, China and across temperate East Asia.
Its species name erythrosora comes from Greek – ‘eryhtros’ mmeaning red and ‘sora’ meaning sori, which makes reference to its iconic red sori that makes this fern so striking. It can produce several new flushes over the course of each season, which prolongs the interest of the coppery coloured emerging fronds, easily striking enough for use as a specimen plant.
In a UK garden in combines particularly well alongside Mahonia fortuneii and Holly Fern for mixed planting in a shady part of the garden.
Care & Size Guidance
This is a semi evergreen fern in the UK climate, where it is particularly low maintenance. Whilst its preferred location is in part sun, it can withstand full shade and, once established, is drought tolerant.