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Dryopteris ludoviciana (Southern woodfern) | NPIN

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Dryopteris ludoviciana (Southern woodfern)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Dryopteris ludoviciana

Dryopteris ludoviciana (Kunze) Small

Southern woodfern, Florida shieldfern

Dryopteridaceae (Wood Indies-Almond Family)


USDA Symbol: drlu

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A good groundcover fern for Southeastern shade gardens with oppressively hot summers, high humidity, and heavy, saturated soils, this fern can grow to 4 feet high and as wide.


Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Fern
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

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


USA: AL , AR , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , SC , TX
Native Distribution: Native to Zone 8
Native Habitat: Moist, humid woodlands of the Southeastern coastal plain

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium , High
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Heavy, wet soils
Conditions Comments: Thrives in the high heat of the Southeast, as long as moisture is adequate. Though native to Zone 8, is hardy from Zones 6 to 10.


Use Ornamental: Good groundcover foliage for shade in the hot Southeast
Interesting Foliage: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

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Recommended Species Lists

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Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: DEW

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