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Dryopteris marginalis (Eastern woodfern)

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Hardy fern grow sheet
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Dryopteris marginalis

Eastern woodfern or marginal woodfern

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.

SIZE
Dryopteris marginalis LP32 - 32 per flat Availability
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Height

12-18 Inches

Spread

12-18 Inches

Spacing

12 Inches

Bloom Color

USDA Hardiness Zone 3-8

Eastern woodfern Interesting Notes

The leathery leaves of Dryopteris marginalis are a beautiful addition to the woodland garden and it forms a lovely, 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. Vase-shaped and reaching 1.5’-2’ tall and equally as wide, this evergreen fern provides good winter interest. It does surprisingly well in rocky dry sites and can tolerate drought.

Marginal wood fern is often found in shaded crevices of rocky ledges and bluffs from Newfoundland to Georgia, west to Oklahoma and Minnesota. It grows best in dappled to light shade with low to medium moisture. It prefers acidic soils but is adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions.

For best display of Dryopteris marginalis, keep it sheltered from strong winds. The fronds are different from other Dryopteris because of its twice compound leaflets lending it a more complex appearance. 

Dryopteris marginalis Growing and Maintenance Tips

Wood ferns prefer 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 the foliage looking nice. Best planted in masses in the shaded or woodland garden, as an accent or mixed with bulbs and other native perennials. To propogate, spore may be collected in late summer. Small crowns found near the main rosette can be carefully separated and trasplanted. 

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Shade
Full Shade
Part Sun
Part Sun
Moist
Moist
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant
Evergreen
Evergreen

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Average
Dry
Green Infrastructure
Woodland
Wetland Indicator Status
Falcutative Upland (FACU)
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Attributes
Native to North America
Propagation Type
Tissue culture