Diplazium pycnocarpon

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: glade fern 
Type: Fern
Family: Athyriaceae
Native Range: Eastern and central North America
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 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
Suggested Use: Ground Cover
Tolerate: Rabbit, Heavy Shade, Dry Soil


Best grown in organically rich, consistently moist, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Foliage browns if soils dry out. Spreads by short creeping rhizomes. May form large colonies over time in optimum growing conditions. Propagate by division.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Diplazium pycnocarpon, commonly called narrow-leaved glade fern, is a deciduous fern that typically grows 2-3’ tall in a circular clump of 5-6 fronds per rootstock. It is native from Quebec to Minnesota south to Louisiana and Georgia. In Missouri, it typically occurs in moist woodlands in ravines and stream valleys. Fronds are somewhat dimorphic. Arching sterile fronds (to 2.5’ long) have 20-40 pairs of alternately arranged pinnae. More erect fertile fronds are taller and narrower with thinner pinnae than the sterile fronds. Sterile fronds appear in spring, but the fertile fronds develop as the summer progresses. Synonymous with Athyrium pycnocarpon. Additional common names include silvery spleenwort, narrow-leaved spleenwort and glade fern.

Genus name comes from the Greek word diplasios meaning double.


No serious insect or disease problems. Slugs snails and other insects may damage tender fronds.


Woodland or shade gardens. Native plant areas.