Dryopteris wallichiana

Wallich's Wood Fern, Alpine Wood Fern

(5 customer reviews)


Providing valuable architectural form in the spring garden with its vase shaped crown, this spectacular and hardy fern is evergreen in most of the UK.

The emerging fiddleheads are covered in fine red hair like scales, appearing gold-green as they unfurl and maturing to a dark-green once it’s established. Up close this fern also proves to be mesmerising, with the dark brown to black rachis (stem) contrasting with the finely dissected green pinnae.


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Origin: Asia, Americas
Genus: Dryopteris
Species / Cultivar: wallichiana
Common Name: Wallich's Wood Fern, Alpine Wood Fern
Synonym: Aspidium parallelogramma, Aspidium wallichianum

Plant Biography

Native to tropical and sub-tropical Americas, Turkey to sub-tropical Asia, Hawaiian islands and Gough Island, the roots have been recorded as having been used as traditional medicine across the pan-tropical regions to remove parasites.

In the UK, Dryopteris wallichiana is brilliant choice of fern for a shaded/part-shaded area of the garden to create dramatic architectural shapes and provide a lot of texture, both during and after the fronds unfurling.

Individual fronds emerge lanceolate in shape, a morphological term meaning pointed like a lance. In maturity these retain a sturdy form from the stalk to the tip of the pinna, giving each frond its iconic straight, outward reaching form.

Dryopteris wallichiana
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: 1.2m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 0.8m
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: Deciduous
Sheds all its foliage annually, so for a period of the year it will be without foliage.

Expert Tip

When designing your garden, keep in mind that it pairs perfectly when placed to contrast with large leaved plants with softer textures, such as Hostas.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Keep in an area of shade/part shade in the garden, in moisture retentive humus rich soil.

This fern is evergreen in most of the UK, though it is deciduous in colder climates.

Couldn’t be happier with what I received, thank you!

Katie W.

Couldn’t be happier with what I received, thank you!

5 customer reviews for Dryopteris wallichiana

Very pleased with this plant which was well packaged and looks healthy and full of promise.

Janet Budd (verified owner)

I’m very happy with the two Dryopteris Wallichiana that I ordered. They are good healthy looking plants that were carefully packaged.

Brian Hall (verified owner)

Couldn’t be happier with what I received, thank you!

Katie W.

Plants arrived early, well packaged up and in excellent condition. Many thanks.

Greg M.