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Gymnocarpium dryopteris
  • RHS AGM

oak fern

G. dryopteris is a deciduous fern to 30cm tall, forming extensive colonies of bright green, triangular, 2 to 3-pinnate fronds 10-20cm long and wide

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

West–facing or East–facing or North–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Woodsiaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Matforming
Genus

Gymnocarpium are small deciduous ferns with a slender creeping rhizome, and much-divided, triangular to ovate fronds

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Temp. N. Hemisphere

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in a neutral to acid, leafy, moist soil, enriched with garden compost, in deep shade

Propagation

Sow spores at 15°C (59°F) when ripe or divide in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Ground cover
Pruning

Cut back in autumn as fronds fade

Pests

Generally trouble free

Diseases

Generally trouble free

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