Dryopteris affinis

4 Dec

Dryopteris affinis (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Dryopteris affinis (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to full shade

Flowering period: N/A

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 75cm

Eventual Spread: 50cm

Hardiness: 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Dryopteridaceae

Dryopteris affinis is a  semi-evergreen clump forming, erect fern. Its mid green leaves are in the form of fronds, are bipinnatifid, are up to 1.2m long. Its pinna may be up to 18cm long. Its leaves emerge a yellow/ green in spring. Its roots are in the form of rhizomes.

Dryopteris affinis, commonly known as the Scaly Male Fern or Golden Shield Fern, is native to western and southern Europe (including the UK) and south west Asia. In its native habitat it usually grows in damp woodlands. Dryopteris affinis is synonymous with Dryopteris pseudomas.

Dryopteris affinis Leaf (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Dryopteris affinis Leaf (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Dryopteris is derived from the Greek drus ‘Tree’ and pteris ‘Male Fern’. Affinis is from the Latin meaning ‘related to’.

The landscape architect may find  Dryopteris affinis useful as part of a native woodland understory planting scheme, or other shady locations It will tolerate dry shade once established.

Ecologically, Dryopteris affinis is of little ecological benefit.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given  Dryopteris affinis their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Dryopteris affinis prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Dryopteris affinis requires little maintenance.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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