The new spring fiddleheads unfurl slowly on this fern, becoming stiffly upright and quite long, with closely-spaced leaves that cast elegant shadows. After a while, the entire stem (crozier) falls backward, creating the tassel look for which this fern is named. In reality, that leaning out of the way is a calculated move: the crozier is making room for a new frond to arise and repeat the pattern! In this way the fern grows, becoming more dense and slowly spreading.
Tassel Fern is a slow grower, taking its time to reach its mature size of 18 to 24 inches high and wide. It is magnificent in a large groundcover planting in partial to full shade, and also makes a terrific underplanting to flowering shrubs or leggy perennials, for it creates a glowing green glen of rich color and texture.
A native of Japan and southern Korea, tassel fern boasts a vase-shaped habit and very glossy foliage. It likes consistent moisture, and is immune to most diseases and pests. So easy, so long-lasting, and so lovely! Add it to the shade garden this season. Zones 5 to 8.