Dryopteris crassirhizoma

thick-stemmed wood fern

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

A bold and eye catching fern, Dryopteris crassirhizoma, is a show piece for any garden. Also know as the thick-stemmed wood fern, it will form a massive scaly light-brown crown that bursts-forth with growth in late spring. The new fronds emerge covered in golden-brown hairy scales, reminiscent of furry arms stretching out from a long winter's nap. As they continue to develop the fronds open to a striking pale-chartreuse green eventually deepening to dark green by early summer. An impressive specimen its leaves form an upright, arching vase-shape, 2 to 3 feet tall.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: fern

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 3 ft. 0 in. (0.91 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 3 ft. 0 in. (0.91 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: none

Sun/Light Exposure: light, open, dappled, or deep shade

Water Requirements: regular watering

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: variegated, gold, silver

Great Color Partners: dark green, chartreuse, blue

Culture Notes
This fern grows best in rich moist to well-drained soil, but will tolerate sand or clay. Provide regular watering during dry weather to keep the fronds from drying out. This fern grows well in light to deep shade. Though it is evergreen the fronds will collapse in mid to late winter. To keep its appearance clean and tidy cut the old fronds to the ground in late February or early March, before the new fronds emerge.