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Marginal Wood Fern Dryopteris marginalis

Phonetic Spelling
dry-OP-ter-iss mar-jin-AHL-iss
Description

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.  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.

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

 

 

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Tags:
#evergreen#acidic soil#wildlife plant#fern#cover plant#wet sites#NC native#deer resistant#native garden#native fern#food source summer#cover#cover year-round#food source herbage#bird friendly#nesting#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#HS302#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#acidic soil#wildlife plant#fern#cover plant#wet sites#NC native#deer resistant#native garden#native fern#food source summer#cover#cover year-round#food source herbage#bird friendly#nesting#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#HS302#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Dryopteris
    Species:
    marginalis
    Family:
    Polypodiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Greenland, Canada to U.S.A
    Wildlife Value:
    It provides year-round cover near the ground. Deer will browse the plant. Its parts are used in songbird nest construction.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Heavy shade, This plant is seldom damaged by deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 6 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Fern
    Ground Cover
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Creeping
    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)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    No fruits. This plants reproduces via spores.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    No flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Fronds
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    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. Provides winter interest.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Small Space
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Shade Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits
    Squirrels
    Wet Soil