Dryopteris goldiana

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: goldie's shield fern 
Type: Fern
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 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, rich, humusy, acidic soils in bright shade with protection from wind. Slowly spreads over time by short creeping rhizomes.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dryopteris goldiana, commonly called giant wood fern or Goldie's wood fern, is a woodland fern which is native to moist woods in eastern North America including Missouri. The Missouri populations are limited to eight counties mostly south of the Missouri River (Steyermark). Considered to be the largest of the North American species of Dryopteris . Typically grows in an upright habit to 3-4' tall. Distinguished by its large size and backward-arching, oblong-triangular, dark green (sometimes golden-green) fronds which taper abruptly near the tip. Fronds are deciduous in the St. Louis area.

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.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Mass or group in woodland, shade or native plant gardens. Shady areas of borders.