Parsley Male Fern
Dryopteris filix-mas 'Parsley'
Parsley Male Fern foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness Zone: 4a
Other Names: Common Male Fern
Attractive, dark green crinkled and crested foliage that resembles parsley; attractive fiddleheads unfurl in spring; keep evenly moist, provides habitat and shelter for birds and bees
Parsley Male Fern's attractive crinkled ferny compound leaves remain green in color throughout the year. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.
Parsley Male 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. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Parsley Male Fern is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
Planting & Growing
Parsley Male Fern will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. 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 is a selection of a native North American species, 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; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.