Decorate the Woodland with Green Ribbons

Looking lovely in the mid-January winter garden is the fern, Neolepisorus fortunei ‘Green Ribbons’. This fascinating evergreen fern looks nothing like what most gardeners are familiar with, when they think ferns. Neolepisorus is one of several genera of ferns, known as ribbon ferns. These ferns grow epiphytically (on trees) and lithophytically (on rocks), mostly in Southeast Asia. Green Ribbons is a native to southern China. This patch was planted in 2009, so it is now celebrating it’s 15th birthday. Light shade to morning sun is ideal. Our plant is growing at the base of a large pine tree, so the soil is about as dry as it could get. More moisture would be welcomed as long as the soil is well-drained. Hardiness is Zone 7b-10b.

Neolepisorus fortunei ‘Green Ribbons’

5 thoughts on “Decorate the Woodland with Green Ribbons”

  1. I bought ‘Green Ribbons’ from you several years ago. One of my very favorite ferns. The underside of each frond is gorgeous with all the rows of sori. I have it growing in a long large container on my shady front porch railing where it gets a bit of morning sun. It has been quite vigorous and happy there and has spread to fill the container. Looks great with those long narrow fronds spilling over and hanging down. I’ve brought it into an unheated 3 season porch every winter because I don’t think it would be hardy in a container outdoors. This year I plan to divide it and plant some of the clumps in the ground.

  2. Hi Tony,
    I love the selection of woodland plants you and your staff have put together over the years. I am biased because my property is mostly mature hardwood forest with little full sun or traditional lawn.

    If I could make a suggestion; it would be great if JLBG and Plant Delights could provide ‘model packages’ for woodland gardens, perennial borders, and native/non-native plant communities, covering various habitats and soil types, from deep shade to full sun. I realize this would be a huge undertaking and require resources. But this would be a great education tool for the public and provide a much needed ever-evolving ‘blueprint’ for ideas on making landscapes both beautiful and functional for insects, birds and wildlife. The interest in ‘rewilding’ properties is growing. Perhaps the merger of JLBG, NC State and JC Raulston could provide the needed resources to support this growing area of interest?

    Of course this would be in addition to showcasing the magnificent cultivar specimens you have developed at JLBG and NC State has developed through JC Raulston, along with many collaborations around the world.

    Just seeds for thought.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. This would probably work better if we only sold locally, but since we sell worldwide, any list would be fairly useless unless you lived nearby, which would frustrate our other customers. We’ve tossed around the idea for years, and the best way we came up to accomplish something similar is to go the site and use the site search to search for shade plants. This will bring up a sort feature on the left, where you can click on over 40 plant attributes that include a) nativity, b) height, c) moisture preferences, d) shade type, e) pollinator plants, and much more. We hope this will help.

  3. Does this fern get supplemental water in the summer when the hosta Dixie Chickadee gets watered, or does this hosta do well in dry shade also?

    1. It gets a bit of supplemental water, but because of the incredible root mass at the base of the pine, the soil never really gets very moist.

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