Common Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas)

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Fern
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 2 to 4 feet
Plant Spread: 3 to 4 feet
Leaves: Semi-evergreen
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Groundcover
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Tolerates dry shade
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

sori under leaves

Photo gallery:
Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-07-23sori under leaves
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2014-06-14planted specimen at house foundation
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2016-05-30planted specimen along backyard fence
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Photo Courtesy of Lazy S'S Farm Nursery.
By Joy
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Photo Courtesy of Lazy S'S Farm Nursery.
By Joy
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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Sep 23, 2018 3:49 PM

The Male Fern has the scientific name from Latin as "filix" = fern and "mas" = male. It was considered as the male form to the more common Lady Fern (from "filix femina") because it was similar and yet more robust. It is a very thick growing fern with semi-evergreen foliage. The fronds taper at each end. The frond stalks have orange-brown scales. The sori ( spots that produce the spores) are under the leaves in two rows. My Male Ferns are doing well on the east side of the house where the sunshine is strong until early afternoon and the slightly raised soil gets sort of dry in summer, usually. Those nurseries that offer a large selection of perennials usually sell some of this species; not every garden center sells this species. Therefore, it is not commonly planted, but found only occasionally in landscapes; especially landscapes by landscape designers or plant enthusiasts. It is native to most of North America from Newfoundland to British Colombia and from New England to the Pacific Northwest and to Texas, and it is native to Europe where it is more common.

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