Dryopteris celsa

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: log fern 
Type: Fern
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Native Range: Easten United States
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.50 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.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dryopteris celsa, commonly called log fern, is a woodland fern which is native to moist woods and swamps in the southeastern U.S. west to Missouri and Arkansas, with additional populations along the east coast ranging as far north as New York. The Missouri populations are limited to three counties in the southern Ozark region along the Arkansas border (Steyermark). This is a naturally occurring hybrid of D. goldiana and D. ludoviciana which is often found growing on rotting logs, hence the common name. Typically grows in an upright habit to 3-4' tall and features firm, erect, deeply cut, shiny dark green fronds with contrasting dark central stipes (stems). Fronds are semi evergreen.

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.