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Dryopteris cycadina
  • RHS AGM

shaggy shield fern

D. cycadina is a semi-evergreen, rosette-forming fern of neat appearance, the spreading fronds, borne on scaly stalks, simply pinnate with pinnae evenly toothed or lobed

Other common names
black wood fern
Synonyms
Dryopteris cycadina atrata
Dryopteris hirtipes misapplied
see moreDryopteris atrata misapplied

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Poorly–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full shade
  • Partial shade
Aspect

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

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H4
Botanical details
Family
Dryopteridaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Semi evergreen
Habit
Bushy
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
China, Japan

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
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

Dead or damaged fronds may be removed as necessary

Pests

Generally pest free outdoors but moth larvae may feed on spores

Diseases

Generally disease free outdoors

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