Dryopteris pseudofilix-mas

Common Name: Mexican male fern 
Type: Fern
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Native Range: Mexico
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 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 consistently moist, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers humusy soils that are rich in organic matter. Do not let soils dry out. Site in a location sheltered from strong winds to protect the fronds. Erect crown of rhizomes.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dryopteris pseudofilix-mas, commonly called Mexican wood fern, is a semi-evergreen fern that is native to high alpine forests in Mexico. It is similar in appearance to D. filix-mas (male fern) and in that regard is sometimes commonly called Mexican male fern. It is also similar to D. affinis . It typically grows in a large clump to 4’ tall. Fronds are pinnate-pinnatifid except at the base. Unlike most other plants in the genus, this fern continues to produce new fronds throughout the growing season.

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 plant's similar appearance to Dryopteris filix-mas.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Moist woodland or shade gardens.