Dryopteris erythrosora

2 Oct

Dryopteris erythrosora (18/07/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Dryopteris erythrosora (18/07/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Dappled shade to full shade

Flowering period: Spores ripen late summer to autumn

Soil: Moist, damp

Eventual Height: 60cm

Eventual Spread: 60m

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

Family: Dryopteridaceae

Dryopteris erythrosora is a semi-evergreen fern with a clump forming habit. Its mid green leaves emerge from a single crown are bipinnate, triangular in shape, up to 70cm long and 35cm broad. Its leaves emerge bronze/ pink in spring and summer. Sori develop on the underside of the leaves, these release the spores in autumn.

Dryopteris erythrosora, commonly known as the Copper Shield Fern, Autumn Fern, Buckler Fern or Japanese Wood Fern, is native to east Asia, including Japan, Korea and China. In its natural habitat it grows in damp shady areas including light woodland and mountain slopes. Dryopteris erythrosora is synonymous with Aspidium erythrosorum.

The etymological root of the binomial name Dryopteris is derived from the Greek drus ‘Tree’ and pteris ‘Male Fern’. Erythrosora is derived from the Greek erythos meaning ‘red’ and sori meaning ‘spore cases’.

The landscape architect may find Dryopteris erythrosora useful in damp shady locations. It is suited to naturalist woodland planting schemes.

Dryopteris erythrosora Leaf (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Dryopteris erythrosora Leaf (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Dryopteris erythrosora is a food plant for numerous insects.

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

Dryopteris erythrosora prefers moist, humus rich soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will tolerate poorly drained soils.

Dryopteris erythrosora requires little maintenance. Dead fronds may be removed in winter. Large clumps may be divided in spring.

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