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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Thelypteris noveboracensis (L.) Nieuwl.
New York fern, Tapering fern
Synonym(s): Dryopteris noveboracensis, Parathelypteris noveboracensis, Polypodium noveboracense, Thelypteris thelypterioides
USDA Symbol: thno
New York fern is a soft, deciduous, yellow-green fern which stands 1-2 ft. high. The frond has a maximum width of 4 in., tapering gradually to both top and bottom. The twice-cut, thin foliage gives a rather fine texture and translucent quality to the fern. Fronds emerge singly or in small clusters.
Creeping rootstocks send up fronds, sometimes forming a dense ground cover. Multiplication is very rapid from shallow, black, wiry roots, and its dense colonies can crowd out other plants, though it is less aggressive in the southern reaches of its range. It makes a good companion for spring ephemerals, covering the gaps they leave in the woodland garden.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Fern Leaf Retention: Evergreen Size Notes:
Normally 12 to 18 inches, but can reach 2 feet Leaf:
Yellow-Green Fruit: Size Class:
0-1 ft. , 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.
, WV Canada: NB
, PE Native Distribution:
Newfoundland to s. Ont., MI
& n. IL,
s. to Long Island, GA, LA
Zones 5 to 7 Native Habitat:
Moist or dry, humus-rich, deciduous
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Humus-rich, somewhat acid soil. Rocky okay.
Conditions Comments: Will spread less, but survive in dry conditions.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Foliage groundcover for shady woodland gardens in eastern North America
Use Wildlife: Provides shelter for toads
Interesting Foliage: yes
Root Division Description:
Propagation by rhizome
division or spores. Commercially Avail:
Reduce and separate if becomes too aggressive for your tastes.
National Wetland Indicator Status
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:
Delaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DEMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff