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Dryopteris filix-mas (Male fern)
Cressler, Alan

Dryopteris filix-mas

Dryopteris filix-mas (L.) Schott

Male Fern

Dryopteridaceae (Wood Fern Family)


USDA Symbol: DRFI2

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

The 1-3 ft. fronds are clustered on a short, horizontal or ascending rhizome. They are nearly twice pinnate; the middle pinnae being the longest. Each of the divisions are toothed. Rich green in color.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

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

Bloom Information

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


USA: AZ , CA , CO , HI , ID , IL , ME , MI , MT , NH , NM , NV , NY , OK , OR , RI , SD , TX , UT , VT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: NB , NL , NS , ON
Native Distribution: Circumboreal, s. in America to VT, MI & irregularly through the Rockies & w. mts. (including one disjunct station in s. CA)
Native Habitat: Damp, cold ravines; rocky woods

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available


Description: Divide or propagate by spores.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2017-07-07
Research By: TWC Staff

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