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Shield Fern Dryopteris

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Shield Fern:

Phonetic Spelling
dry-OP-ter-iss
Description

Wood Ferns love to grow in the shade and make a great addition to woodland gardens.  They prefer moist, rich, well-drained woodland soil.  A few species are found in swamps but most do not require wet habitats.

The rhizome is stout, either short-creeping or as an erect crown.  The scales, especially dense on the fiddleheads and on the bases of the fronds are tan, black, brown, or gold.  The fronds are usually of medium size and erect or arching. Many species are evergreen.

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

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Sunken Pond Garden Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Part Sun-Part Shade Gardens Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Sunken Pond Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
Dryopteris abbreviata, Dryopteris australis, Dryopteris carthesiana, Dryopteris celsa, Dryopteris cristata, Dryopteris dilatata, Dryopteris erythrosora, Dryopteris filix-mas, Dryopteris goldieana, Dryopteris intermedia, Dryopteris kinkiensis, Dryopteris ludoviciana, Dryopteris marginalis, Dryopteris sieboldii, Dryopteris villarii, Dryopteris wallichiana
Tags:
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Dryopteris abbreviata, Dryopteris australis, Dryopteris carthesiana, Dryopteris celsa, Dryopteris cristata, Dryopteris dilatata, Dryopteris erythrosora, Dryopteris filix-mas, Dryopteris goldieana, Dryopteris intermedia, Dryopteris kinkiensis, Dryopteris ludoviciana, Dryopteris marginalis, Dryopteris sieboldii, Dryopteris villarii, Dryopteris wallichiana
Tags:
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Dryopteris
    Family:
    Polypodiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Cosmopolitan
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    heavy shade, deer
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Fern
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Dense
    Oval
    Spreading
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    No fruits. This plant reproduces via spores.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    No flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Fronds
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Moths
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heavy Shade