Dryopteris atrata

Black Wood Fern, Shaggy Wood Fern

(6 customer reviews)

From: £11.95

The Shaggy Wood Fern is a tall and robust clump-forming fern which produces attractively long arched, lime-green fronds in a vase shape.

Its unique appearance comes from the fine dark hairs which cover the elegant fronds. This fern is easy to grow yet nonetheless spectacular.


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Origin: SW India, Nepal to China and Indo-China
Genus: Dryopteris
Species / Cultivar: atrata
Common Name: Black Wood Fern, Shaggy Wood Fern
Synonym: Aspidium atratum, Dryopteris cycadina

Plant Biography

Native across southwestern India to China, the Shaggy name refers to its distinctive dark scaly stems which contrast strikingly with its robust bright green fronds.

The Shaggy Wood Fern is a versatile and perfect choice of fern for a woodland garden or shaded border, and even works brilliantly in a container.

Dryopteris atrata
Soil: Moisture Retaining
Soil that drains at a slower rate due to higher organic matter content.
Growth Rate: Medium
Expect to see moderate growth during growing season.
Water Requirement: High
Likely to require supplementary watering in warmer months, even once established.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Part Shade
Enjoys several hours of direct sunlight but may enjoy dappling or shade at midday.
Eventual Height: 0.9m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 0.9m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Will survive unprotected outdoors in most areas of the UK, even in the harshest winters.
Habit: Semi Evergreen
May only remain evergreen in milder winters, or only loose leaves for a short period.

Expert Tip

Whilst it is not truly evergreen, its fronds are long lasting enough to remain throughout much of winter.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Best planted in well-drained, humus-rich soil situated in full to part shade. Make sure it has some protection from strong winds and cold.

It’s best to tidy the previous years’ old fronds before new growth begins again in spring.

6 customer reviews for Dryopteris atrata

One of 5 plants ordered at the same time. Very good quality and healthy, a good size and should do well when planted out in the garden.

John Podmore (verified owner)

A lovely healthy specimen, well packed and promptly delivered. Thank you

catherinemclarke (verified owner)

Very good service will use again.

R Frank

Beautiful fern