The term Athyrium filix - femina refers to a group of evergreen or deciduous ferns, originating in Europe, Asia and North America; most of them endure winter colds, but they can also be grown in pots at home. It produces a large tuft of fronds, 40 to 90 cm high, each of them is a single compound leaf, without branches. The stems are light brown in color, which contrasts with the color of the leaves.
The leaves are composed, triangular, made up of numerous finely divided leaflets, of various colors depending on the species, of ever smaller size starting from the base of the stem up to the apex; A. filix-femina has light green foliage, there are cultivars with yellowish-green leaves; A. nipponicum has very dark leaves, which tend to silver-gray, there are cultivars with foliage tending to dark purple, also veriegate. These ferns are very suitable in shady gardens, where they can also be used as ground cover.
The plants of Athyrium filix - femina, also called female fern, are very rustic and resistant and have no particular problems in the cold season. For the best possible exposure place in a shady or semi-shady place; a few hours of morning light can significantly improve the color of the variegated leaf cultivars; they generally do not fear the cold, but sometimes they can be damaged by the wind, therefore it is advisable to choose a sheltered position, for example against a wall or at the foot of trees or shrubs.
Most of the species are deciduous, therefore in winter it goes into vegetative rest, in case of very cold temperatures it is possible that the aerial part dries completely, to reappear in spring.