Alphabetical Plant Listing

Dryopteris filix-mas (Male Fern)

Male Fern, Basket Fern, Shield Fern


Dryopteris filix-mas (Male Fern) is a large, deciduous fern with erect, stout rhizomes supporting graceful bouquets of lance-shaped, dull green fronds. Tapering at the base, each frond (blade) is pinnate-pinnatifid with 20-30 pairs of long-pointed leaflets per blade. Turning coppery in fall, this most adaptable and robust fern thrives on neglect and is pest and disease free. Male Fern is a great asset for shady, difficult corners of the garden.

  • Clump-forming, it easily grows up to 2-4 ft. tall and wide (60-120 cm) and will reliably reappear year after year.
  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society for its outstanding qualities
  • A part shade to full shade lover, it is best grown in rich, consistently moist soils. Do not allow the soil to dry out.
  • This plant is a great choice for shady beds, borders, underplanting of roses and shrubs, cottage gardens, or woodlands .
  • Rabbit resistant, clay soil tolerant!
  • Remove faded fronds regularly and divide plants when crowded.
  • Propagate by sowing spores as soon as ripe or by division in spring
  • Native to Europe and North America

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Ferns
Plant Family Dryopteris - Ferns
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spacing 48" (120cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Clay Soil, Rabbit
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Grigoriy Pil, 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 4 – 8
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Ferns
Plant Family Dryopteris - Ferns
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spacing 48" (120cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Clay Soil, Rabbit
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Dryopteris - Ferns

Guides with Dryopteris - Ferns

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