Dryopteris filix-mas - Male Fern
  • Dryopteris filix-mas - Male Fern
  • Male Fern decorative foliage
  • Dryopteris filix-mas is a beautiful hardy fern
  • Natural Dye with Dryopteris filix-mas - Male Fern

Dryopteris filix-mas - Male Fern - Plant

Tax included

Dryopteris filix-mas - Male Fern
1 stump bare root



  • Dryopteridaceae (not angiosperm)
  • Europe, Eurasia, North America
  • H 1.2m x W 1m
  •  Z3 
  • Deciduous perennial
  • Literally: Tree (dryo, gr.) Feather (pteris, gr.) Fern (filix, lat.) Male (mas, lat.)
  • Synonyms: Aspidium filix-mas, Nephrodium filix-mas, Polypodium filix-mas, Dryopteris affinis
  • 1 stump bare root



The Male Fern is a majestic fern that grows in cool, humid areas and in the woods

However, it is also capable of withstanding full sun and resisting extreme conditions of temporary heat and drought

This robustness makes it an interesting fern for the garden since it does not have the fragility of most ferns

The Male Fern belongs to a family of terrestrial plants (Dryopteridaceae) which appeared more than 100 million years ago, and which includes about ten genera, including Dryopteris (approximately 400 species)

Dryopteris filix-mas is endemic in Europe with the exception of Mediterranean regions

In France, it grows up to 2000m altitude

It is no more "male" than its cousin the Female Fern (Athyrium filix-femina) is "female"

Dryopteris filix-mas is a magnificent and vigorous fern used in the ornamental garden to set a high bed even in full sun, as an isolated subject, or grown in pot

Its fronds unfold in spring from a scaly stump firmly anchored to the ground by a network of fibrous roots, and rise to a height of up to 120cm

The Male Fern is extremely hardy since it grows in Scandinavia, but its vegetation is deciduous and dies after the first heavy frost

Dryopteris filix-mas has medicinal properties: Anodyne, Antibacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-rheumatic, Antiviral, Astringent, Febrifuge, Vermifuge, Vulnerary

It can be used for dyeing textiles : Its fronds give pretty, very saturated and solid reddish browns, but only when the spores are mature and before they are dispersed

The dyeing principle is therefore probably in the spores rather than in the leaf tissues



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Find the best location for your Dryopteris filix-mas

  • If you are in a humid or cold climate, any location including full sun will be suitable
  • If you are in a hot and dry climate, prefer a location in the shade, humid and cool, for better developed and more beautiful vegetation

Any type of soil is suitable, but your Dryopteris will grow wonderfully in fresh soil rich in organic matter (in our garden, some specimens grow perfectly on shale scree)

Plant the rhizomatous stump as soon as you receive it, ideally during the fall and winter, burying the roots and the lower half of the stump (and leaving the upper half protruding) in clean, decompacted soil

Water and keep the soil moist

The fronds emerge in spring, and if they are cut during the growing season, new fronds will replace them

In winter, the leaves dry and die and the fern goes into vegetative rest

Cut the dead fronds at the stump level and drop them around the stump where they will decay and provide organic matter, while saving you weeding work next spring

No other maintenance apart from regular watering during the planting year, and particularly in dry periods

No disease, no pests

Easy cultivation


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