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Dryopteris marginalis

Common Name(s):
Evergreen woodfern, Leather wood fern, Marginal woodfern
Categories:
Ferns, Native Plants
Comment:

Dryopteris marginalis, commonly called marginal shield fern, is an evergreen, which typically forms a non-spreading, vase-shaped clump to 1.5-2' (infrequently to 3') tall. This is a woodland fern which is most often found in shaded crevices of rocky ledges and bluffs. Features grayish-green, deeply cut, leathery fronds (15-20" long). Sori are located at the edges or margins of the pinnule undersides, hence the common name. Its rhizome forms an erect crown. Evergreen fronds provide good interest to the winter landscape.

Prefers moist, well-drained, humus, rich soil in partial to full shade; broad, erect crown densely covered with light brown scales; produces a large, single crown; does not spread; hardy. This plant is seldom damaged by deer.

It is easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. It prefers moist, rich, humusy, acidic soils with protection from wind.

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont

Seasons of Interest: 

  Leaf:  Evergreen                   

Wildlife Value:   This plant is highly resistant to damage from deer. It provides year-round cover near the ground.  Deer will browse the plant.  Its parts are used in songbird nest construction.

 

Height:
18-24 in.
Zones:
4-9
Habit:
Evergreen
Fronds:
The fronds are bluish green to dull olive green arching in a vase shape. They rapidly taper to a point. The blade is lance-shaped, bipinnate to bipinnate-pinnatified and leathery. The pinna are lance-shaped and rapidly taper to a point. The pinnules are heavy veined and have a blunt tip. The sori are located very near the margin of the pinnules. The stipe is one fourth to one third the frond length. The stipe is swollen at base and covered with golden brown scales.
Exposure:
Part shade to full shade
Tags:
songbirds, winter interest, deer resistant, evergreen

NCCES plant id: 201

Dryopteris marginalis Dryopteris marginalis
Kerry Woods, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Dryopteris marginalis Dryopteris marginalis
Kerry Woods, CC BY-NC-ND - 4.0
Dryopteris marginalis Dryopteris marginalis
Kerry Woods, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Dryopteris marginalis Dryopteris marginalis plant form
desultrix, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Dryopteris marginalis Dryopteris marginalis fronds
Kristine Paulus, CC BY - 2.0