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Dryopteris marginalis

Marginal Shield Fern

The leathery leaves of Dryopteris marginalis are a beautiful addition to the woodland garden and can form a lovely an easy to maintain groundcover. A sturdy east coast native, it forms a tidy clump that will not spread and is very tolerant of dry shade conditions once it has established. Marginal wood fern is often found in shaded crevices of rocky ledges and bluffs from Newfoundland to Georgia, west to Oklahoma and Minnesota.

Benefits

Easy-to-grow evergreen fern tolerant of dry conditions
Provides year round cover for birds, toad and lizards
Used in floral arrangements
A well-behaved, non-colonizing fern for eastern woodlands
Blue-green foliage is a lovely contrast to winter snow

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Wood ferns are easy to grow in average to moist, rich, well-drained soils in shade or part sun. They tolerate drought very well once established. Needs protection from wind to keep foliage looking nice. Best planted in masses in the shaded or woodland garden, as an accent or mixed with bulbs and other native perennials.


Height
2 Feet

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Spread
2 Feet

USDA Hardiness Zone 3-8

Native Range

Moist to dry woods; Newfoundland to Minnesota south to Oklahoma and Georgia.

Native Trivia

Ferns have a way of lightening the darkness of shade gardens and woodlands; they somehow make these areas less dark and project a feeling of lushness. Mix different native ferns in the same area to take advantage of the wonderful variety of textures and colors available. Dryopteris is translated from the Greek as "oak fern".


"This robust evergreen fern provides year-round cover for chipmunks like me and my songbird friends."

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
Low Perennials
Medium Perennials
Exposure
Filtered Shade
Shade
Soil
Acidic
Humus-rich
Well-drained
Soil Moisture Preference
Dry
Moist
Moist but well-drained
Attracts Wildlife
Amphibians
Mammals
Reptiles
Songbirds
Habitat Collection
Dry Shade
Songbird
Native Habitat
Forest
Foliage Color
Green
Uses
Accent
Border
Cut or dried flower
Drought tolerant
Evergreen
Ground cover
Mass plant
Naturalizes
Native to
Alabama
Arkansas
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Tennessee
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin