Dryopteris cycadina

(Fern, Shaggy or Black Wood)


Hardiness Zones:

 5a  5b  6a  6b  7a  7b  8a  8b

Quick Overview:

Dryopteris cycadina, the shaggy wood fern, is well described by its species name which means ?like a cycad?. The evergreen once pinnate fronds growing like a symmetrical bouquet of cycad leaves are a rich green with a prominent grooved blackish midrib. Decorative new growth is shrouded in ornamental ?shaggy? dark scales. For an interesting garden picture sprinkle in a few plants of the black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ?Nigrescens?) to mimic the color and habit of this medium growing (18 inches) delight. Hailing from China, Taiwan and Japan this species settles with ease in average soils in Zones 5 to 8.


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers fertile, moist, humusy loams that are rich in organic matter. Best with consistent moisture. Soils should not be allowed to dry out. Site in locations protected from strong winds to prevent damage to the fronds. Tolerant of high humidity. Fronds are evergreen to semi-evergreen in mild winter areas. Where deciduous, the old fronds should be cut off in late winter prior to the emergence of the new growth. Propagate by division or spores.

Additional information

Common Name

Fern, Shaggy or Black Wood

Botanical Name

Dryopteris cycadina


1 gallon

Evergreen or Deciduous


Hardiness Zone

5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b

Growth Rate


Light Requirements

Part-shade, Shade


to 1.5 ft.


to 2 ft.

Soil Condition


Water Needs




Foliage Color


Deer Resistant


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