Plants: Dryopteris filix mas - Common Male Fern

Posted by 15.02. 2008 10:59:06 (16457 readers)

Dryopteris filix mas - Common Male Fern

Dryopteris filix-mas (Common Male Fern or Male Fern) is one of the most common ferns of the temperate Northern Hemisphere. It is deciduous or semi-evergreen and can grow to 1.2 metres in height and 1metre in diameter.

It has elegantly arching mid-green and fairly robust foliage. It favours damp shaded areas and is particularly ubiquitous in the understory of woodlands, but also found in shady places on hedge-banks, rocks and screes. The half-evergreen leaves have an upright habit and reach a maximum length of 1.5 m. The stalks are covered with orange-brown scales. Can be grown even by beginners in partial shade or shade a and it is able to withstand a sunnier site and drier soil than most hardy ferns, making it more suited to the rough and tumble of border life. It is hardy and thrives on well-drained/light, acidic or chalky/alkaline, moist soils. Used between shrubs or tall flowers in borders for summer-long foliage interest, or in woodland and wild gardens in clumps under trees in mild locations the foliage may remain standing all winter, but elsewhere it dies down. However it is at its happiest in a cool shady sheltered humus-rich situation in the company of other hardy ferns and herbaceous flowers.
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