Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Dryopteris marginalis (L.) Gray
Marginal woodfern, Marginal fern, Marginal shieldfern
Dryopteridaceae (Wood Indies-Almond Family)
The broad, dark, leathery, twice-pinnate, evergreen
fronds of marginal wood fern
are from 1-3 ft. high and as much as 10 in. wide. They arise in vase-like circles from the rootstock, which has a 1 to 4 inch-high crown and sends out shallow, non-colonizing roots radially. Fiddleheads arise in spring and are golden brown and furry.
A well-behaved, non-colonizing fern
for the cool, eastern woodland landscape, this fern
never becomes aggressive. In snowy winters, it can be glimpsed protruding through blankets of snow, its blue-green coloration in stately contrast to the surrounding white.
Image Gallery: 2 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Fern Leaf Retention: Evergreen Size Notes:
Normally about 20 inches tall, but can reach 3 feet Leaf:
Dark green Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.
AL , AR , CT , DE , GA , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , NH , NJ , NY , NC , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , VT , VA , WV , WI , DC Canada: NB
, ON Native Distribution:
New England to e. Ont., s. to GA, TN, AR, e. OK, & e. KS. Eastern North America, Zones 5 to 7. Native Habitat:
Moist woods and ravines; Shaded, sandstone crevices; Rocky ledges USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N),
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium , High Light Requirement:
Part Shade , Shade Soil Moisture:
Moist Soil pH:
Acidic (pH<6.8) Soil Description:
Moist, rocky, acidic, humus-rich soil. Tolerates lime. Conditions Comments:
likes an oak leaf winter cover. Rather sensitive to heat.
for cool eastern woodland landscapes Use Wildlife:
Provides cover for toads and lizards Interesting Foliage: