Dryopteris filix-mas 'Linearis Polydactila'

Dryopteris filix-mas ‘Linearis Polydactila’

Male fern

  • Botanical name: Dryopteris filix-mas 'Linearis Polydactila'
  • Common name: Male fern
  • Family: Dryopteridaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial, Deciduous
Foliage colour:


Dryopteris filix-mas ‘Linearis Polydactila’ is a male fern with graceful, skeletal-like pinnae, giving it an unusual spiky appearance. It’s perfect for growing in a range of shady situations, and works well alongside other shade-loving plants such as hostas and hellebores. Although deciduous, the frosted fronds provide winter interest and are worth keeping until spring. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it the prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).


Grow Dryopteris filix-mas ‘Linearis Polydactila’ in moist but well-drained soil in partial to full shade. Divide congested clumps and trim back old foliage in spring. 

How to grow Dryopteris 'Linearis Polydactila'

  • Plant size

    100cm height

    75cm spread

  • Aspect

    North facing, east facing, west facing

  • Position in border


  • Sun exposure: Dappled shade, partial shade, full shade
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Well drained / light / sandy / clay / heavy / moist / chalky / alkaline / acidic

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do Plant in July

Do Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December


Do not Divide in January

Do not Divide in February

Do Divide in March

Do Divide in April

Do Divide in May

Do not Divide in June

Do not Divide in July

Do not Divide in August

Do not Divide in September

Do not Divide in October

Do not Divide in November

Do not Divide in December


Do not Prune in January

Do not Prune in February

Do Prune in March

Do Prune in April

Do Prune in May

Do not Prune in June

Do not Prune in July

Do not Prune in August

Do not Prune in September

Do not Prune in October

Do not Prune in November

Do not Prune in December

Dryopteris 'Linearis Polydactila' and wildlife

Dryopteris 'Linearis Polydactila' has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Dryopteris 'Linearis Polydactila' poisonous?

Dryopteris 'Linearis Polydactila' has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People

Plants that go well with Dryopteris 'Linearis Polydactila'