Alphabetical Plant Listing

Dryopteris cristata (Crested Wood Fern)

Crested Woodfern, Crested Wood Fern, Buckler Fern


Worthy of landscape culture, Dryopteris cristata (Crested Wood Fern) is a semi-evergreen, clump-forming fern forming a rosette of narrowly oblong, twice pinnate fronds, cut into about 20 pairs of short-stemmed leaflets. The erect fertile fronds have widely spaced leaflets, which are held at an angle along the leaf stem. They produce brown, kidney-shaped, spores that line the undersides of the leaves in irregular rows. The fertile fronds are deciduous in winter, while the shorter, blue-green and arching, sterile fronds are evergreen. The rootstock and stipe are clothed in light brown scales. Though Crested Wood Fern prefers wet sites, it will tolerate much less moisture. Easily grown, undemanding, Crested Wood Fern is attractive in almost any garden situation. It will naturalize over time, via short creeping rhizomes, and can be used as a groundcover.

  • Grows up to 1-2 ft. tall and wide (24-60 cm).
  • Performs best in part shade or full shade in acidic, organically rich, moist to wet, well-drained soils. Will tolerate full sun if provided plenty of moisture.
  • This plant is a great choice for shady cottage gardens, woodland gardens or near ponds and streams.
  • Virtually pest and disease free.
  • Remove faded fronds regularly and divide plants when crowded.
  • Propagate by sowing spores as soon as ripe or by division in spring
  • Native to North America, Europe, Russia and northern Asia.

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Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 7
Heat Zones 1 – 7
Plant Type Ferns
Plant Family Dryopteris - Ferns
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 24" (60cm)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Montana, Southeast, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Tolerance Wet Soil
Garden Uses Ground Covers, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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Len Worthington, Doug MacGrady, Flickr, Stale Edstrom, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 7
Heat Zones 1 – 7
Plant Type Ferns
Plant Family Dryopteris - Ferns
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 24" (60cm)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Montana, Southeast, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Tolerance Wet Soil
Garden Uses Ground Covers, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Dryopteris - Ferns

Guides with Dryopteris - Ferns

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