Dryopteris goldiana

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Common Name: Goldie’s Woodfern, Giant Woodfern, Goldie’s Shield Fern

3-4 feet tall by 4-6 feet spread. Part shade to full shade and tolerates heavy shade; medium moisture level; prefers rich, humusy soil but will grow in rocky soil; most commonly found in neutral pH soil but does grow in slightly acidic and slightly alkaline pH soils.

Maintenance: Low. Established plants are difficult to move.

Growth/Colonizing Habit: Slowly spreads over time by short, creeping rhizomes.

Foliage: Semi-evergreen

Native Region: Concentrated in pockets in eastern half of state

Considered to be the largest of the Dryopteris ferns. Distinguished by its large size and backward arching, dark green fronds tapering abruptly at their tips. Prefers the rocky soil of higher elevations and cooler temperatures of a north facing slope. Requires relatively high humidity levels and protection from strong winds. Easy to grow in average soil in the garden only if it’s other growing requirements are met.

Goldie’s Woodfern, Giant Woodfern, Goldie’s Shield Fern - Dryopteris goldiana
Photo Courtesy of John Hilty http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/