Types of Hardy Ferns

These bright, breezy ferns grow happily outdoors and can withstand extremely cold temperatures.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Male Fern

Dryopteris filix-mas; Deciduous fern forming large, shuttlecock-like clump of upright, arching, mid-green fronds. H 4 ft (1.2 m); S 3 ft (1 m).

Royal Fern

Osmunda regalis; Large, deciduous fern with bright green fronds. Fertile fronds have rust-brown, flowerlike spires. H 6 ft (2 m); S 12 ft (4 m).

Ostrich Fern, Shuttlecock Fern

Matteuccia struthiopteris; Tall, sterile, green fronds up to 4 ft (1.2 m) in length surrounding shorter, brown fertile ones, arranged in the shape of a shuttlecock. H 5 ft (1.7 m); S to 3 ft (1 m).

Soft Shield Fern

Polystichum setiferum; Evergreen fern with arching, lance-shaped fronds; will form large clumps in deep shade with lots of moisture. H 4 ft (1.2 m); S 36 in (90 cm).

Hart’s-Tongue Fern

Asplenium scolopendrium Crispum Group; Glossy green fronds with distinctive wavy or undulating, frilled edges. H 12–24 in (30–60 cm); S 12–24 in (30–60 cm).

Common Polypody

Polypodium vulgare; Low-growing, spreading fern with leathery, dark green fronds. Good for ground cover—and will tolerate sun. H 12 in (30 cm); S indefinite.

Golden Male Fern

Dryopteris affinis; Slightly shorter than the standard filix-mas, with a dark spot where each pinna (part of the frond) joins the golden-brown midrib. H 36 in (90 cm); S 36 in (90 cm).

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