Dryopteris filix-mas 'Barnesii'
Common Name: male fern
Type: Fern
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 2.50 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Tolerate: Rabbit, Heavy Shade, Clay Soil


Easily grown in average, medium moisture soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers consistently moist, humusy soils rich in organic matter. Soils should not be allowed to dry out. Site in locations protected from strong winds to prevent damage to the fronds.

Noteworthy Characteristics

‘Barnesii’ is a deciduous male fern cultivar that typically grows from a crown of rhizomes to 3’ tall with a narrow, erect habit. Fronds are quite narrow, usually not exceeding 4” in width. Pinnae are oval-triangular with toothed margins. Filix-mas means male fern in reference to the somewhat vigorous growing habits of ferns in this species.


No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Woodland or shade gardens. Foundations.