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Dryopteris carthusiana (Vill.) H.P. Fuchs
Spinulose Woodfern, Spinulose Wood Fern, Shield Fern, Toothed Wood Fern
Dryopteridaceae (Wood Fern Family)
Synonym(s): Dryopteris austriaca var. spinulosa, Dryopteris spinulosa
USDA Symbol: DRCA11
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)
The 18-30 in., narrow, finely-divided, lacy fronds appear early in spring in a vase-like cluster. Sterile fronds are evergreen.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Size Notes: Fronds up to about 30 inches long.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , IA , ID , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV
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 ConditionsLight 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.
PropagationDescription: Propagation by division or spores. Sow spores on moist, sterile medium. Keep gametophytes in a sealed, humid container. After sporophytes develop, transplant to potting soil in a humid container until root system has developed.
Seed Collection: Collect spores when the sori become dark and the indusia open to release a fine, black powder. This may occur anytime from late spring to frost. Cut the fertile fronds and place in an envelope, storing near a light bulb for a few days to dry out moisture. Sift out leaves and debris and store spores in a cool, dry place.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
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May 16, 2010
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National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Dryopteris carthusiana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Dryopteris carthusiana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Dryopteris carthusiana
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-07
Research By: TWC Staff