Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Dryopteris carthusiana

Shield fern, Spinulose wood fern, Spinulose woodfern, Toothed wood fern

Dryopteridaceae (Wood Fern Family)

Dryopteris carthusiana (Shield fern)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy
The 18-36 in., narrow, finely-divided, lacy fronds appear early in spring in a vase-like cluster. Sterile fronds are evergreen.

Image Gallery:

1 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.


USA: AL , AR , CT , DE , ID , IL , IN , IA , KY , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MO , MT , NE , NH , NJ , NY , NC , ND , OH , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , VT , VA , WA , WV , WI , DC
Canada: NL , NS , ON , PE
Native Distribution: Lab. to AK, s. to SC, AR, ID & n.w. CA
Native Habitat: Swamps; wet woods; rocky slopes

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Acidic, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil.
Conditions Comments: This fern is relatively pest- and disease-free. The western variety is Dryopteris spinulosa var. dilatata or Dryopteris dilatata.

Last Update: 2008-06-01