Dryopteris dilatata

Dryopteris dilatata
Dryopteris dilatata 
broad buckler fern
SIZE/TYPE mid-sized perennial
USUAL WIDTH 0.6-1.3m
LEAVES deciduous broadleaf
LOCATION semi-shade / partial sun
SOIL TYPE any (acidic to alkaline)
SOIL MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS evenly moist (dislikes drought)
USDA zone (lowest) 5   (down to -29°C)
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
Evergreen broadleaf
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Broad buckler fern is our native fern species that occurs from the lowlands up to the subalpine level. It is naturally found in a wide belt from N.W. Europe to E. Europe and N. Asia. It is widely adaptable and can handle both drought and slightly waterlogged habitats if it self-seeds or reproduces by rhizomes there. In our climate it often migrates from woodlands to the margins of residential areas in the countryside, where it slowly spreads in areas with low or no maintenance.

The botanical species of broad buckler fern forms beautiful plants with strong, semi-erect, robust, up to one-meter-long fronds which under ideal growing conditions can grow up to 1.5 m in length. They are so-called tripinnate, i.e., its individual leaflets are divided into tiny blades, they are assembled along shorter lateral midribs, and these are attached to vertical stems. Only young leaves are upright, and they arch beautifully as they mature. The leaves are deciduous.

Broad buckler fern is a reliable and undemanding species that even an amateur will not kill. It can cope with poor soils and thrives on neglect. It is happiest in filtered sunlight or partial shade, though, it can live in full shade, too, and copes with full sun unless its soil dries out. In the wild it is most often found under tall trees in areas with less air movement which provides more moisture, especially near woodland streams and on shady but not too dark slopes covered with moss, which prevents the soil from drying out. It is frost-resistant up to min. -29 °C, but it can certainly handle a few degrees lower. In the spring, remove all its leaves. Hardy to min. -29 ° C (USDA zone 5) and is expected to withstand a few degrees lower.

Last update: 17-06-2023

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  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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