Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dryopteris - Part One

After the Athyriums, Dryopteris are probably the largest other group in the gardens. I wrote about the Autumn Fern so I won't repeat that. Dryopteris is also known as Wood Fern, Shield Fern or Buckler Fern. Most commonly wood ferns in the US and Buckler Ferns in England. These are ferns of the moist, shady woodlands or swamps in temperate regions. These hybridize freely in the wild. I know I sometimes find an unknown fern here and there, so I suspect that the Dryopteris aren't the only ones that do this. These are mostly all easy to grow and have few problems.
This first on is Dryopteris affinis stableri crisped. Quite a name, but a lovely fern. This is a big one, often getting 3 feet tall. It is identical to stableri except that the pinnae have wavy edges.
Next is Dryopteris australis, Dixie Wood Fern. It is said to get 4-5 feet tall, though only one of mine has gotten that big. It looks very tropical at that size and is planted among some large hostas. It is said to be semi-evergreen, but seems to die back here.
Next is Dryopteris carthusiana. This one has only been here for 2 years so far. It is commonly known as Spinulose Wood Fern or Toothed Wood Fern. For those of you in colder climates, this on will even grow in zone 2. This one a more normal size - one to three feet tall. This one is commonly found in swamps and wet woodland in North America, Europe and Asia. It will grow in full shade or partial sun.

Last for today is Dryopteris cystolepidota. This one is not listed in my fern book, so I didn't know much about it. A quick Google search, however, turned up this source of information which I will have to delve into a lot deeper to learn more about the rest of my ferns. http://hardyfernlibrary.com/ferns/listSpecies.cfm?Auto=33 Hope this shows up as a link since it doesn't look like one here.

Well, we got our snow. I just heard the plow come down even though it is still snowing. I guess they wanted to clear off the road before the ice comes later today and tonight. Not sure if that will make it better or worse.

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