A handsome native whose fronds form a pleasing shuttlecock.
common Name: Crested male fern
Dryopteris filix-mas, commonly known as the male fern, is a robust and graceful fern species that adds a touch of woodland charm to gardens and landscapes. Native to Europe and parts of Asia, this deciduous fern is characterized by its elegant, arching fronds that unfurl from a central crown. The name “male fern” refers to the plant’s reproductive structures, which are inconspicuous and found on the undersides of the fronds. The fine-textured, feathery foliage is a rich green color and provides a lush, airy quality to shaded or woodland gardens. Dryopteris filix-mas is adaptable to a variety of soil conditions and can thrive in both damp and relatively dry locations. Its hardiness and ability to tolerate some sunlight make it a popular choice for gardens, where it can be planted as a solitary specimen or as part of a mixed fern display. With its attractive form and ease of cultivation, the male fern is a timeless favorite among fern enthusiasts and gardeners alike.