Plant DetailShow Menu

Dryopteris abbreviata is often confused with:
Dryopteris australis Leaves
Dryopteris filix-mas Dryopteris filix-mas
Native alternative(s) for Dryopteris abbreviata:
Dryopteris marginalis Dryopteris marginalis
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Dryopteris australis Leaves
Cyrtomium fortunei Cyrtomium fortunei
Dryopteris filix-mas Dryopteris filix-mas

Dryopteris abbreviata

Previously known as:

  • Dryopteris affinis
Phonetic Spelling
dry-OP-ter-iss af-FYE-niss
Description

The award-winning Dryopteris abbreviata is a semi-evergreen to evergreen (in milder climates) fern that is easy to cultivate.  This robust fern sits erect, forming a rosette of finely cut arching fronds originating at a stout rhizome.  

Although ferns like shade, with adequate moisture it can tolerate a fair amount of sun.  Once established, it is a drought tolerant specimen.

It is virtually a pest and disease free choice for your shady garden.  

VIDEO Created by NC State Extension's Homegrown series featuring Mark Weathington, Director of JC Raulston Arboretum.

More information on Dryopteris.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cambrensis'
  • 'Cristata'
    Frilly frond tips
  • 'Stableri'
'Cambrensis', 'Cristata', 'Stableri'
Tags:
#evergreen#drought tolerant#heavy shade#semi-evergreen#deep shade#showy#shade tolerant#shade garden#showy leaves#fern#rabbit resistant#wet sites#deer resistant#woodlands
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cambrensis'
  • 'Cristata'
    Frilly frond tips
  • 'Stableri'
'Cambrensis', 'Cristata', 'Stableri'
Tags:
#evergreen#drought tolerant#heavy shade#semi-evergreen#deep shade#showy#shade tolerant#shade garden#showy leaves#fern#rabbit resistant#wet sites#deer resistant#woodlands
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Dryopteris
    Species:
    abbreviata
    Family:
    Dryopteridaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe and Asia
    Play Value:
    Easy to Grow
    Textural
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Heavy Shade, This plant is seldom damaged by deer and rabbits.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Fern
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    No fruits. This plants reproduces via spores.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    No flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Rough
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Fronds
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Lance-shaped blade; pinnate-pinnatified; leathery; small, dark spot at base of each pinna; pinnae are layered up the frond like stair steps; stipes and rachises are shaggy with golden brown scales
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Near Septic
    Small Space
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Shade Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heavy Shade
    Rabbits
    Wet Soil