King of the Male Ferns (Dryopteris affinis 'Cristata The King')

Dryopteris affinis 'Cristata The King' garden.jpg
Dryopteris affinis 'Cristata the King'
Dryopteris affinis 'Cristata The King' garden.jpg
Dryopteris affinis 'Cristata the King'
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King of the Male Ferns (Dryopteris affinis 'Cristata The King')

8.00

Mature specimens of this cultivar are a people magnet in the garden! This is a splendidly symmetrical cultivar in which the shapely crests help weight the large fronds in a sinuous arc. The whole frond lies on a single plane with the with the pinnae tips and apex crests fanning out along the same axis, making for an impressively structured display of forks and crests. This fine crested form found in Cornwall was considered by Victorian growers as the template of perfect cresting by which all other male fern cultivars were judged, and reaches an impressive size of up to 4 1/2'. Many Dryopteris affinis and D. filix-mas forms cultivated under high-humidity glasshouse conditions were even trained up into small tree fern like specimens!

Frond Condition:  Semi-evergreen
Mature Height:  3 - 4 1/2'
Origin: Cornwall, UK
Cultural Requirements:  Some Shade, Full Shade, Partly Shaded, Evenly Moist, Slightly Moist
USDA Zones: 5, 6, 7 ,8, 9

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Judith's notes on taxonomy in the trade:

This cultivar is often confused in the trade with D. filix-mas 'Cristata' forms but mature specimens are easily sorted by the darkened spot near the juncture of the pinnae to the center rachis and the even symmetry of the pinnules!