Dryopteris polylepis

Scaly wood fern

Epithet means "many scales."

description: The rhizome is erect with fronds radiating in arching horizontal sprays from short stipes that are one-fifth of the total foliage. As the common name implies, these are massively and handsomely dressed in blackish-brown scales that extend well onto the rachis. The narrow oblanceolate blades are pinnate-pinnatifid and a warm kelly-green. The 20 to 28 pairs of pinnae taper gradually toward the frond's base with the lower pair aiming slightly downward. The sori are submarginal on upper pinnules and covered with a kidney-shaped indusium.

range and habitat: This is a woodland species from Japan, China, and Korea.

culture and comments: Grow this fern for the excitement the scaly new foliage brings to the springtime garden and the assured ornamental contribution of the foliar black and green highlights throughout the rest of the year. It is an undemanding citizen of the woodland garden with a preference for light shade. Once established it is quite drought tolerant. (I would also like to note that my plants and those in cultivation in the united States came from spores that were gifted by the late Roy Davidson, an extremely talented, many faceted horticul-

Dryopteris muenchii

Light foliage of Dryopteris pacifica in the Peters garden.

Dryopteris namegatae against a backdrop of Helleborus 'Ivory Prince'.

Light foliage of Dryopteris pacifica in the Peters garden.

turist whose knowledge and generosity spanned an amazing botanical and gardening spectrum and whose contributions greatly enriched the gardens and gardeners of North America and beyond.)

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