Hybrid Robust Male Fern (Dryopteris complexa 'Robust')

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D complex Robust Astilbe.JPG
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Hybrid Robust Male Fern (Dryopteris complexa 'Robust')

8.00

This vigorous full foliage form has graceful undulating fronds with well-developed pinnatifid pinnae that billow over one another. The weight of the substantial pinnae bows down the whole frond in a graceful arc. This is a marvelous fern for naturalizing in a woodsy setting or knitting together showy herbaceous treasures in a large scale border, since it quickly reaches proportions of up to 5 feet in favorable conditions. This fern has also been successfully used on steep hillsides and riverbanks to help retard erosion. Nearly three decades ago I naively passed this fern along to the wholesale trade under the name as I received it from the BPS spore exchange: Dryopteris filix-mas 'Undulata Robusta'. As my first crop of sporelings reached maturity in the early 1980's I realized that this form was most likely a hybrid and not just a filix-mas selected cultivar. Dr. Christopher Page verified this to be a Dryopteris x complexa (then called D. x tavelli) on a visit to our area. He felt that it was possibly a hybrid of Dryopteris filix-mas with Dryopteris affinis subsp. robusta which itself looks almost like a cross with filix-mas compared to the other affinis subspecies. Regretably, passing a fern that is mis-labeled onto a commercial grower who prints tags by the thousands meant that the wrong name has been applied to this hybrid selection for years!

Frond Condition: Sub-evergreen
Mature Height: 3-5'
Origin England, Europe
Cultural Requirements:  Some Shade, Partly Shaded. Full Shade, Evenly Moist, Slightly Moist, Dryish
USDA Zones: 5,6,7,8,9

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