Dryopteris marginalis - Marginal Shield Fern
Dryopteris marginalis - Marginal Shield Fern
Dryopteris marginalis - Marginal Shield Fern
Dryopteris marginalis - Marginal Shield Fern

Dryopteris marginalis - Marginal Shield Fern

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Part Shade  Deer Resistant 
DESCRIPTION
Marginal Shield Fern / Easternwood Fern
Dryopteris marginalis

The leathery leaves of Dryopteris marginalis are a beautiful addition to the woodland garden and can form a lovely an easy to maintain groundcover. A sturdy east coast native, it forms a tidy clump that will not spread and is very tolerant of dry shade conditions once it has been established. 

BENEFITS
  • Easy-to-grow evergreen fern tolerant of dry conditions
  • Provides year-round cover for birds, toad and lizards
  • Used in floral arrangements
  • A well-behaved, non-colonizing fern for eastern woodlands
  • Blue-green foliage is a lovely contrast to winter snow
NATIVE INFO

Native Range

Marginal wood fern is often found in shaded crevices of rocky ledges and bluffs from Newfoundland to Georgia, west to Oklahoma and Minnesota.

Map Credit: The Biota of North America 
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)

INTERESTING FACTS
 

Ferns have a way of lightening the darkness of shade gardens and woodlands; they somehow make these areas less dark and project a feeling of lushness. Mix different native ferns in the same area to take advantage of the wonderful variety of textures and colors available. Dryopteris is translated from the Greek as "oak fern".

 

GROWING TIPS

 

Wood ferns are easy to grow in average to moist, rich, well-drained soils in shade or part sun. They tolerate drought very well once established. Needs protection from wind to keep foliage looking nice. Best planted in masses in the shaded or woodland garden, as an accent or mixed with bulbs and other native perennials.

 

Mature Size: 18-24"T x 24-30"W

Hardiness Zone: 3-8

Sun Exposure: Part to full shade

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    American Beauties Offer Solution Based Plant Collections to Help you Choose

    Quick Tips for Choosing Plants:

    • Planting a variety of native trees, shrubs, perennials and vines increases biodiversity and gives wildlife a source for food, cover and nesting
    • Choose a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees so birds and other wildlife will always be able to find shelter
    • Plant trees and large shrubs where they will block winter winds from the house and shade it in summer, that will save energy and lower your carbon footprint
    • Try your best to buy plants that were grown locally, your independent garden center will be your best bet
    • Think about ultimate height and width of the plant you choose, make sure it will fit the space you have for it when it's reached maturity
    • Plant nectar plants in groups, to attract butterflies and other beneficial insects more easily
    • Ask for help if you need it. Most garden centers either have a landscape designer on staff or they can give you a reference of a designer that is adept at native plant wildlife gardening. There will be upfront costs but they are small when compared to having to redo a landscape that wasn't what you really wanted

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    A Special Note About Exposure

    Full sun: Prefers six or more hours of direct sunshine a day
    Partial shade: Thrives in three to six hours of daily sunshine
    Shade: Generally does well with less than three hours of sun per day. Having said that even shade loving plants will struggle in extremely deep shade.

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