Welcome to the Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife Blog.

Welcome to the Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife Blog.
The purpose of this blog is to provide information on using native plants in the landscape, issues related to invasive exotic plants, urban wildlife management, and wildlife damage management. It is my intention that this information will assist you in deciphering the multitude of information circulating around the web and condense in some meaningful method as it relates to Kentucky. In addition, I hope to highlight a native plant that can be used in the landscape.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Plant of the Week: Intermediate Wood Fern (Dryopteris intermedia)

This is one of the largest and most showy of all the ferns in Kentucky.  It loves rich woods and has a tendency, particularly these days, to be somewhat evergreen, although the fronds do lay on the ground during the winter.  It is now just growing in the woods and makes a wonderful foundation planting in the woodland garden.  It has several cousins including Goldie's wood fern (D. goldiana), marginal wood fern (D. marginalis), log fern (D. celsa), southern wood fern (D.ludoviciana), and autumn fern (D. erythrosora) among numerous others. For the most part, they all look alike superficially except the autumn fern which can turn a beautiful cinnamon color.  Furthermore, this group of ferns is known to hybridize which can make exact field identification difficult. However, that is not a concern for the gardener. The intermediate wood fern grows from about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 feet tall. It is very delicate, graceful, and lacy and has lobed leaflets on twice compound fronds. The spores on the underside of the leaflets are usually produced in mid to late summer and there is a translucent tissue that covers the spores, which are circular. This species likes slightly acidic to neutral soils that are well drained and high in organic content, which is typical for most mesic woodland wildflowers like trilliums, lady slippers, etc.

1 comment:

  1. A most excellent landscape plant thank you for reminding me of it.