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Shaggy Wood Fern (Dryopteris atrata)Shaggy Wood Fern (Dryopteris atrata)Shaggy Wood Fern (Dryopteris atrata)

Shaggy Black Wood Fern

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The details

Dryopteris atrata

  • Upright, green and yellow-tinged foliage with contrasting dark stems
  • Evergreen in most of UK
  • Non-invasive clump forming
  • Loves dappled shade, not recommended for exposed, sunny sites.
  • Hardy for most of Scotland RHS rating H5
  • Height and spread to under 1m x 1m in 5 years.
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Description

Dryopteris atrata, Shaggy Black Wood Ferns. 2 Litre Pot Grown Plants

Dryopteris atrata is a strapping, clump-forming, hardy semi-evergreen fern with a graceful, arching habit. It has the most wonderful lime green fronds with contrasting dark stems – perfect for brightening a dingy corner – and it’s blissfully low-maintenance.

Suitable for a variety of settings, use it to add an architectural element to shady borders or to create a beautifully textured understory in woodland settings. It is equally at home in a container.
It delivers real presence in the garden for most, if not all, of the year (it will often retain its foliage in mild winters).
An upright and sturdy plant, its mature fronds are about a metre long.
The fresh green shades of the fronds are contrasted against the dark, scaly stems.

Ferns are delivered pot-grown, year round. 
Browse our other garden shrubs.

Features

  • Upright, green and yellow-tinged foliage with contrasting dark stems
  • Evergreen in most of UK
  • Non-invasive clump forming
  • Loves dappled shade, not recommended for exposed, sunny sites.
  • Hardy for most of Scotland RHS rating H5
  • Height and spread to under 1m x 1m in 5 years.

Growing Dryopteris Ferns

They love a moist, humus rich soil, and prefer dappled shade with shelter from wind. In the North, you can protect them from frost with fleece, or by trimming the leaves and covering the crowns with straw for winter. Cut back the old fronds in late winter.

The decorative green and black fronds are perfect for adding volume to flower arrangements. Use the foliage as a stylish backdrop for colourful blooms.

Use Drypopteris atrata to add year round interest to borders and courtyard gardens. The vibrant foliage makes a good foil for spring bulbs such as daffodils, tulips and hyacinths. Team with bamboos, grasses and evergreen shrubs like Choisya to weave a tapestry of textures with a Japanese flavour.

Did You Know?

Dryopteris is a member of the Dryopteridaceae family, the oak ferns. They are clump-forming, deciduous, semi-evergreen or evergreen ferns, with stout, erect or decumbent rhizomes and shuttlecock-like rosettes of lance-shaped to ovate, pinnate fronds.

 

Planting Instructions

Dig over the soil, removing any stones and weeds. Add plenty of compost or soil improver to enrich the soil in and around the planting hole – ferns are happiest in soil that is rich in organic matter.

Water well before planting. Prepare a hole that is slightly larger than the plant’s rootball and sprinkle some Rootgrow into the hole. Position the plant in the hole so that it is at the same depth as in the pot. Backfill with soil, firm in and water well.

Water regularly for the first year after planting, being careful to water the roots not the fronds. Established ferns may need additional watering during prolonged dry spells. In spring apply a general fertiliser and mulch with organic matter to retain moisture in the soil. Prune any dead or damaged fronds in late winter or early spring.