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Dryopteris filix-mas AGM

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Fern

Habit

Tufted

Origin

Native to the UK

Resilience

Hardiness

H7 (very hardy)

Colour

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring and Summer

Size

Ultimate height

1-1.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.5-1 metres

Time to ultimate height

5-10 years


Preferred common name

male fern

Family

Dryopteridaceae


Dryopteris can be deciduous, semi-evergreen or evergreen ferns, with stout, erect or decumbent rhizomes and shuttlecock-like rosettes of lance-shaped to ovate, pinnately divided fronds

D. filix-mas is a robust deciduous fern forming a shuttlecock-like tuft of lance-shaped, bipinnatifid fronds to 1.2m in height

Other common names

  • basket fern
  • shield fern

Synonym(s)

  • Aspidium filix-mas

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Part shade
  • Full shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, North-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

Easy to grow in most cool, moist, lightly shaded sites and will grow in full sun if given plenty of moisture. Tolerant of dry shade but water regularly in their first season and mulch well

Soil

  • Poorly-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Neutral or Alkaline
  • Loam, Chalk, Sand or Clay

Propagation

Propagate by sowing spores as soon as ripe or by division in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Low Maintenance, Underplanting of Roses and Shrubs or Wildflower meadow


How to care

Pruning

Dead or damaged fronds may be removed as necessary

Pests

Generally pest free outdoors

Diseases

Generally disease free outdoors