Dryopteris atrata

7 Apr

 

Dryopteris atrata (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Dryopteris atrata (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to full shade

Flowering period: N/A

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 60cm

Eventual Spread: 60cm

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

Family: Dryopteridaceae

Dryopteris atrata is an evergreen clump forming fern with an arching habit. Its dark green leaves are in the form of fronds, are bipinnatifid. Its leaf bases and crown are covered in black scales. Its roots are in the form of rhizomes.

Dryopteris atrata Leaf (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Dryopteris atrata Leaf (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Dryopteris atrata, commonly known as Black Wood Fern, Shaggy Wood Fern or Shaggy Shield Fern, is native to south east China and north South East Asia. In its native habitat it grows in damp woodlands. Dryopteris atrata is synonymous with Dryopteris cycadina.

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

The landscape architect may find Dryopteris atrata useful as part of a woodland understory or edge planting scheme, or other shady locations.

Ecologically, Dryopteris atrata is of little ecological benefit.

Dryopteris atrata Sori (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Dryopteris atrata Sori (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

The Royal Horticultural Society has given the species Dryopteris atrata (Dryopteris cycadina.) their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1997.

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

Dryopteris atrata requires little maintenance.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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