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The moth genus Dryopteris is now considered a junior synonym of Oreta.
Dryopteris filix mas nf.jpg
Male fern (Dryopteris filix-mas)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida /
 Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order: Dryopteridales
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Genus: Dryopteris

See text

Dryopteris /drˈɒptərs/,[1] commonly called wood fern, male fern (referring in particular to Dryopteris filix-mas), or buckler fern, is a genus of about 250 species of ferns with distribution in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, with the highest species diversity in eastern Asia. Many of the species have stout, slowly creeping rootstocks that form a crown, with a vase-like ring of fronds. The sori are round, with a peltate indusium. The stipes have prominent scales.

Hybridisation is a well-known phenomenon within this group, with many species formed by this method.


Dryopteris species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Batrachedra sophroniella (which feeds exclusively on D. cyatheoides) and Sthenopis auratus.

Cultivation and uses[edit]

D. goldiana, Goldie's fern

Many Dryopteris species are widely used as garden ornamental plants, especially D. affinis, D. erythrosora, and D. filix-mas, with numerous cultivars.

D. filix-mas was throughout much of recent human history widely used as a vermifuge, and was the only fern listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia.

Selected species[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607

External links[edit]