Description: A hardy fern with upright fronds and dark stems. Easy to grow in many situations and not just moist locations as Dryopteris are also very tolerant of dry shade so good under trees and in woodland settings.
Uses: Woodlands, streams but also any border to give a different texture to a mixed collection of plants. Good when planted with spring bulbs as the fronds emerge as they are finishing flowering.
Climate/Position: Prefers a sheltered in shade but also tolerant of partial sun.
Height/Spread: 50-100cm x 50-100cm
Soil Requirements: Moist but well drained soil as do most ferns. When established can tolerate dry shade.
Pruning: Cut back last years fronds in late winter before the new leaves start to unfurl in the spring.
Additional Interest: Dryopteris literally means oak (drys) and fern (pteris) and there are 220 species worldwide. This species was named after Nathaniel Wallich (1786-1854) who was noted for recording a number of plant species in India and for introducing Geranium wallichianum. He was a Dutch surgeon and botanist who worked for the East India Company. It is thought that the original D. wallichiana was collected near Darjeeling but can also be found growing naturally in Hawaii, Mexico and Jamaica as well as in the Himalayas.