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Dryopteris cristata (Crested Wood Fern)

Crested Woodfern, Crested Wood Fern, Buckler Fern

Dryopteris cristata, 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.

Requirements

Hardiness 2 - 7
Heat Zones 1 - 7
Plant Type Ferns
Plant Family Dryopteridaceae
Genus Dryopteris
Common names Fern
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)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Native Plants United States, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Pacific Northwest, Southeast, Rocky Mountains, Northeast, Midwest, North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, Missouri, Idaho, Washington, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Montana
Tolerance Full Shade, Wet Soil
Garden Uses Ground Covers, Ponds And Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Dryopteris wallichiana Jurassic Gold (Alpine Wood Fern)
Dryopteris arguta (Coastal Wood Fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York Fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (Marginal Wood Fern)
Dryopteris intermedia (Intermediate Wood Fern)
Dryopteris carthusiana (Spinulose Wood Fern)
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.
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Requirements

Hardiness 2 - 7
Heat Zones 1 - 7
Plant Type Ferns
Plant Family Dryopteridaceae
Genus Dryopteris
Common names Fern
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)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Native Plants United States, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Pacific Northwest, Southeast, Rocky Mountains, Northeast, Midwest, North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, Missouri, Idaho, Washington, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Montana
Tolerance Full Shade, Wet Soil
Garden Uses Ground Covers, Ponds And Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
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Do I Need?
Not sure which Dryopteris to pick?
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