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Dryopteris affinis
  • RHS AGM

scaly male fern

D. affinis is a robust semi-evergreen fern forming a rosette of erect, bipinnatifid fronds to 1.2m in length, bright yellow-green when young, later rich green, with dense, persistent golden scales on the stems

Other common names
golden shield fern
Synonyms
Dryopteris pseudomas

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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Yellow Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full shade
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Dryopteridaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Semi evergreen
Habit
Tufted
Genus

Dryopteris can be deciduous, semi-evergreen or evergreen ferns, with stout, erect or decumbent rhizomes and shuttlecock-like rosettes of lance-shaped to ovate, pinnately divided fronds

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe, Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Easy to grow in most cool, moist, lightly shaded sites and will grow in full sun if given plenty of moisture. Tolerant of dry shade but water regularly in their first season and mulch well

Propagation

Propagate by sowing spores as soon as ripe or by division in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

Dead or damaged fronds may be removed as necessary

Pests

Generally pest free outdoors

Diseases

Generally disease free outdoors

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