Definition of autumn fern
: a shield fern (Dryopteris erythrosora) native to eastern Asia that is widely cultivated as an ornamental for its triangular, evergreen fronds which are copper-colored when young before turning a glossy, dark green Autumn fern has colorful fronds that emerge copper-colored in spring, then unfurl with a pinkish tinge before turning glossy green in summer. — Jan Riggenbach, Daily Herald (Chicago, Illinois), 21 Dec. 2008
— called also Japanese shield fern
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