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Dryopteris cristata (Crested woodfern)
Alder, Michael G.

Dryopteris cristata

Dryopteris cristata (L.) A. Gray

Crested woodfern, Crested wood fern, Buckler fern

Dryopteridaceae (Wood Indies-Almond Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: DRCR4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

The narrowly oval and twice pinnate fronds of crested wood fern spring in loose clusters. The 12-36 in. fertile fronds are larger than the infertile ones and only the latter are evergreen.

This fern is not fully evergreen as the fertile fronds become relaxed at the base and fall over, although the sterile fronds remain green through the winter. (Ferns of Grey and Bruce Counties)

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf: Dark Green
Flower:
Fruit:
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

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

Distribution

USA: AL , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , TN , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NL , NS , ON , PE
Native Distribution: Nf. to Sask., s. to NC, TN, n. IL, IA , ND, n.w. MT & n. ID
Native Habitat: Wet woods; swampy thickets

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Mucky, moderately acid soils.
Conditions Comments: Though this fern prefers wet sites, it will tolerate much less moisture. Requires very little care.

Propagation

Description: Multiply by rootstock extension.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

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National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: OBL FACW FACW OBL OBL OBL FACW
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Bibliography

Bibref 1231 - Guide To the Ferns of Grey and Bruce Counties, Ontario (1999) Owen Sound Field Naturalists

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Additional resources

USDA: Find Dryopteris cristata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Dryopteris cristata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Dryopteris cristata

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2010-04-27
Research By: TWC Staff

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