Dryopteris (תבנית:IPAc-en), commonly called wood ferns, male ferns, and buckler ferns, is a genus of about 250 species of ferns with distribution in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, with the highest species diversity in eastern Asia. Many of the species have stout, slowly creeping rootstocks that form a crown, with a vase-like ring of fronds. The sori are round, with a peltate indusium. The stipes have prominent scales.
Hybridization is a well-known phenomenon within this group, with many species formed by hybridization.
Dryopteris species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Batrachedra sophroniella (which feeds exclusively on D. cyatheoides) and Sthenopis auratus.
Cultivation and uses
Many Dryopteris species are highly desired as garden ornamental plants, especially D. erythrosa (autumn fern, often sold in garden outlets) and D. filix-mas, a very popular garden fern in the British Isles and Europe, with numerous cultivars.
Dryopteris filix-mas was throughout much of recent human history widely used as a vermifuge, and was the only fern listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia.
Dryopteris erythrosora (Autumn Fern, Autumn Brilliance Fern, Japanese Wood Fern or Japanese Shield Fern) is a species of fern, native to eastern Asia from China and Japan south to the Philippines, growing in light woodland shade on low mountains or hills. It is evergreen, with bipinnate fronds 30-70 cm tall and 15-35 cm broad, with 8-20 pairs of pinnae.
D. erythrosora can tolerate a drier soil than many ferns, but is most successful in moist, humus-rich soil, with a pH range of 6.1 to 7.5, with morning or late afternoon sunshine but not during the middle of the day. It is hardy in zones 5 to 11.
A number of cultivars have been selected, including 'Prolifica' and 'Viridosora'. Propagation is by division in spring, separating the small crowns from the larger crowns, or by spores.
- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Dryopteris erythrosora
- The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Foundation: Dryopteris erythrosora
- Roth, Susan A., 1997. 'Better Homes and Gardens: New Complete Guide to Gardening'. Second Edition. Des Moines, Meredith Corporation. ISBN 0-696-02573-6.
- Flora Europaea: Dryopteris
- Flora of North America: Dryopteris
- Flora of China: Dryopteris species list
- Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607