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 Indies-Almond 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