Robust Male Fern

Dryopteris filix-mas 'Robusta'

100% of 100
A large, vigorous fern that may reach 4 feet tall at maturity. Western U.S. native that is widely adaptable to any cool moist place. Long, leathery fronds are upright and stately, unfurling in yellow-green then darkening to emerald. Excellent choice that retains its foliage even in cold weather. Semi-evergreen. Shade to part shade. Rapid growth to 4 feet, 2 feet or more wide. Hardy.
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4 - 8

Your climate might be too cold for this plant:


Full shade

Water regularly to maintain evenly moist soil - weekly, or more often.

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Botanical Pronunciationdrye-OPP-ter-iss FY-liks mas roh-BUS-tuh
LoreIn ancient Europe, ferns were often associated with incantations and spells granting one invisibility because the plants lacked seeds and seemed to magically appear. Male fern is grown commercially as an anthelminthic, to expel worms.
Average Size at MaturityQuickly forms foliage clumps 4 ft. tall, 2 ft. wide, or wider.
Bloom TimePrized for foliage.
Design IdeasA perfect space filler to flesh out shade gardens and landscapes under large shade trees or groves. Exceptional for filling gaps in rock waterfalls where shade prevents other plants. A good problem solver for narrow sideyards and fleshes out difficult north facing foundation planting.
Deciduous/ EvergreenSemi-evergreen
Foliage ColorGreen
Garden StyleAsian/Zen, Cottage, Rustic
Growth HabitClumping
Growth RateFast
Landscape UseBorder, Container, Firescaping/Fire Wise, Mass Planting, Rock Garden, Woodland Garden, Cutting Garden, Edging, Ground Cover
Light NeedsFull shade
Soil NeedsAll-Purpose Plant Food
Special FeatureClump Forming, Extreme Cold Hardiness, Gift Plant, Naturalizes Well, North American Native Selection, Shade Loving, Tolerates Acidic Soil, Tolerates Wet Soils, Fast Growing
Water NeedsHigh
Watering NeedsWater regularly to maintain evenly moist soil - weekly, or more often.
Key FeatureWoodland Garden Plant

Provide enriched, slightly acidic, well-drained soil, with shelter from drying winter winds. Water deeply, regularly during the first growing season to establish root system; once established, water regularly to maintain evenly moist soil. Fertilize regularly during growing season. Cut back old fronds after new growth begins in spring.

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This Plant's Growing Zones: 4 - 8

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