Fancy fern, evergreen wood fern, glandular wood fern
Synonym Dryopteris spinulosa var. intermedia
Epithet means "intermediate," presumably between D. carthu-
siana and D. campyloptera.
Evergreen, 11/2 to 3 ft. (45 to 90 cm).Zones 3 to 8.
Crocus surround the evergreen fronds of Dryopteris indusiata in spring in the mild Pacific Northwest climate.
description: The erect rhizome sports a loose bundle of arching fronds with one-third grooved tan-scaled, green stipes and two-thirds thin-textured bipinnate to tripinnate ovate blades. The soft blue-green foliage with 12 to 14 pairs of pinnae is covered, especially on the undersides, with fine hairs tipped with round glands looking like Lilliputian hatpins. (A hand lens is helpful here.) Of additional diagnostic significance the lower, innermost pinnules on the lowest pinnae are smaller than their adjacent counterparts (see upper photo on page 217). The sori are medial and covered with a kidney-shaped indusium.
range and habitat: This species is abundant in acid to neutral soils from moist woods and sandstone substrates to rocky slopes in northern and eastern North America as well as the mountains of the Southeast. The range extends westward to Tennessee, Kentucky, and eastern Missouri. It is especially common in moist and rocky hardwood habitats.
culture and comments: Readily available, this lacy specimen is recommended as an easily grown all-purpose addition to cold temperate gardens where it fits with ease into the shady to somewhat sunny woodlands. Hikers and gardeners especially welcome the evergreen foliage during the drab days of endless East Coast winters. It is not for Zone 9 to 10 climates. This is one of the most promiscuous of the dryopteris and the progeny carry the characteristic glandular hairs.
Subsp. maderensis, a more delicate type from the Atlantic islands, is cultivated in Europe.
Was this article helpful?