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Shaggy Shield Fern

Dryopteris cycadina

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Shaggy Shield Fern (Dryopteris cycadina) at Plants Unlimited

Shaggy Shield Fern foliage

Shaggy Shield Fern foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  3 feet

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4b

Other Names:  Black Wood Fern, Shaggy Wood Fern

Description:

A rosette-forming variety with a neat appearance, evenly toothed and lobed fronds on scaly stalks; attractive fiddleheads unfurl in spring; evergreen in milder areas; keep evenly moist, provides habitat and shelter for birds and bees

Ornamental Features

Shaggy Shield Fern's serrated ferny compound leaves remain green in color throughout the year. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Shaggy Shield Fern is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with a shapely form and gracefully arching foliage. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Shaggy Shield Fern is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Shaggy Shield Fern will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years. As this plant tends to go dormant in summer, it is best interplanted with late-season bloomers to hide the dying foliage.

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone over the growing season to conserve soil moisture. This species is not originally from North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets. It can be propagated by division.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Naturalizing 
Applications
Texture  Plant Form 
Ornamental Features

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