Male fern (Dryopteris filix-mas) is a robust hardy deciduous native fern which forms a large clump of deep green lance-shaped feather and crested fronds up to 120cm (4ft) tall. May keep its leaves through Winter in sheltered sites. Filix-mas (“male fern”) is thought to be the male version of the Lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina) and so named due to its vigorous nature. Like the femina it has an RHS AGM.
Dryopteris: from dryas (oak) and pteris (fern) refers to presence of some species in woodland areas populated with oaks.
Planting position: Damp soil in full or partial shade