Dryopteris marginalis foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness Zone: 3a
Other Names: Wood Fern
Graceful, arching gray-green fronds form a vase-shaped clump, non-spreading; spores are found on the margins on the underside of the fronds, hence its name; keep evenly moist, provides habitat and shelter for birds and bees
Marginal Wood Fern's ferny compound leaves remain grayish green in color throughout the year. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.
Marginal Wood Fern is an herbaceous evergreen fern with a shapely form and gracefully arching fronds. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Marginal Wood Fern is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
Planting & Growing
Marginal Wood Fern will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years. As this plant tends to go dormant in summer, it is best interplanted with late-season bloomers to hide the dying foliage.
This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone over the growing season to conserve soil moisture. This species is native to parts of North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets. It can be propagated by division.