Dryopteris dickinsii

Epithet is after Frederick V. Dickins (1838-1915). Evergreen, 1V2 to 2 ft. (45 to 60 cm). Zones 6 to 8. Apogamous.

description: The rhizome is short and erect. The grooved stipes are one-quarter of the frond length with small scales, usually brownish. The once-pinnate narrow blades are a refreshing light green and have shallowly scalloped pinnae. The lowest pinnae pair is shorter and inclined slightly downwards. The sori are submarginal and covered with a kidney-shaped indusium.

range and habitat: Dryopteris dickinsii grows in the moist forestlands of Japan, China, Taiwan, and India where it is rare.

culture and comments: Here is a pleasant small to medium-sized fern that adapts easily to and brightens the average woodland habitat.

Dryopteris dickinsii 'Crispa' with the airy flowers of Brunnera macrophylla 'Langtrees'.

description: The rhizome is erect and produces an occasional offshoot. The frond blades are broadly triangular and tripinnate with the lower pinnules, adjacent to the rachis, greatly enlarged on the lowest pinnae. The stipes are one-third of the frond, grooved and distinguished from many other dryopteris by their scales that are bicolored with dark centers framed by light brown borders. The 12 to 15 pairs of triangular pinnae bear sori that are medial and covered with a kidney-shaped indusium.

range and habitat: This variable species is quite cosmopolitan in Europe and areas of Asia. once upon a time the nomenclatural botanical umbrella encompassed the North American Dryopteris expansa as well. In nature D. dilatata has a strong preference for acidic sites.

culture and comments: This vigorous addition to the low-maintenance cool woodland will return faithfully in the ignored corner especially when encouraged by acidic conditions. It grows poorly in areas with extended hot humid summers. There are passels of varieties, many of which are far more handsome than the type. All, however, are susceptible to the disfiguration of leaf hopper and/or thrip damage.

'Crispa Whiteside' is an especially ornamental selection with crisped pinnae on a broadly based elongated pyramid of foliage.

'Cristata' is, as the name implies, crested at the tips of the frond and pinnae.

'Grandiceps' (with large terminal crests) has a "grand head" of heavily divided terminal and pinnae crests.

'Jimmy Dyce' is a low-growing 1 to 1V2 ft. (30 to 45 cm) blue-green, ornamental evergreen, triangular cultivar.

Dryopteris dickinsii 'Incisum' in the Gassner garden.

Dryopteris dilatata surrounded Dryopteris dilatata 'Crispa Whiteside' Dryopteris dilatata 'Jimmy Dyce'

by Alchemilla.

'Crispa' (curled) is smaller and even more attractive with flowing wavy margins and a more horizontal presentation.

'Incisum' (cut) has pinnae cut 1/4 in. (6 mm) or more. It is occasionally referenced as Dryopteris kiyotensis and is a welcome variant for the enrichment of a collection.

Dryopteris dilatata Broad wood fern, broad buckler fern Synonym Dryopteris austriaca Epithet means "dilated, expanded."

Deciduous to subevergreen, 2V2 to 4 ft. (75 to 120 cm).Zones 4 to 8.

'Lepidota' is a finely divided filigree of medium height (2 ft. [60 cm]). The pinnae are a refreshing bright emerald-green and the stipes with their brown scales make this a highly recommended companion for russet indumentum-clad rhodies. 'Lepidota Cristata' is minutely crested.

'Recurved Form', also known as 'Recurvata', is unusual in having the pinnae rolled inwards. The fronds are forest-green.

'Stansfieldii' is an extremely rare cultivar that was part of the collection brought from Britain to British Columbia, Canada, by British fern expert F. Wiper in the late 1800s. Following his passing, it was subsequently rescued from extinction by the alert attention of the late British Columbia plant expert, Don Armstrong. It is beautiful as is its close cousin Dryopteris dilatata 'Lepidota' from which it can be distinguished by its thickened wavy pinnae.

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