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Dryopteris affinis

Golden male fern

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial


Dramatic foliage



Skill level


Dryopteris affinis

Plant details

This is a magnificent garden fern producing a shuttlecock of long, upright, pale green fronds with contrasting brown, scaley stems in spring. In mild winters it'll stay green, but in cold, exposed positions it's deciduous. Despite needing shade, it happily tolerates several hours of sun each day, and is more wind-resistant than most ferns. Very effective in damp parts of the garden where it has terrific presence, contrasting well with low groundcover. It has been given the Award of Garden Merit by the RHS.

Family: Dryopteridaceae

Genus: Dryopteris

Species: affinis

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Foliage colour: Light green

Feature: Dramatic foliage

Sun exposure: Partial shade, Shade

Soil: Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 90cm

Spread: 90cm

Time to divide plants: April to April

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