Dryopteris crassirhizoma

Common Name: wood fern 
Type: Fern
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Native Range: Northeastern Asia
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.50 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Tolerate: Rabbit, Heavy Shade


Easily grown in average, medium moisture soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers moist, humusy soils that are rich in organic matter. Site in a location sheltered from strong winds to protect the fronds. Plants have stout, erect rhizomes.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dryopteris crassirhizoma, commonly called thick stemmed wood fern, is native to wooded slopes in northeastern Asia. It is a semi-evergreen fern that typically grows in a handsome vase-shaped form to 3.5’ tall. As the common name suggests, it is noted for massive caudex (crown or woody base) that is covered with long brown scales. Fronds grow upward from the outside of the crown usually producing a symmetrical vase of greenery. In cold winters, fronds remain green but recline to spread flat along the ground. This fern is somewhat similar in appearance to D. affinis and D. filix-mas .

Genus name from Greek dryas meaning oak and pteris meaning fern in reference to the presence of some species of wood ferns in woodland areas populated with oaks.

Specific epithet refers to the thickened rhizome of the species.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Good specimen for moist woodland or shade gardens.