Gymnocarpium dryopteris
Western Oak Fern

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Part ShadeShadeBird Friendly

Western Oak Fern
Gymnocarpium dryopteris

- Plant listed for information only. Not currently being sold at Garden Centers

This small, colony-forming, woodland fern is an excellent groundcover for moist, shaded places. The delicate, greenish-gold foliage is triangular and deeply divided for a delicate texture.  It looks beautiful planted with other woodland favorites such as; Trillium, Jack in the Pulpit, Jacob’s ladder and Bluebells.

Delicate light green foliage brings light to shady places
Will form small colonies making a lovely groundcover
Easy to establish and maintain
Can tolerate the low temperatures of zone 3
Combines beautifully with spring wildflowers

Native Range

Native to the Northern tier of the United States. Found in cool, moist woods in rocky, slightly acidic soil.

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

Interesting Facts


Ferns belong to a group of plants called featherplants or pteridophytes. They are among the world’s most ancient plants, found as fossils in rocks 400 million years old.




Cut back old fronds in spring.


Mature Size: 1-2ft. Tall x 2-ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 3-8

Sun Exposure: Part Shade to Full Shade

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