Mexican Male Fern (Dryopteris pseudofilix-mas)

sold out

Mexican Male Fern (Dryopteris pseudofilix-mas)


*Note: we are currently out of 4" starts but 1 gallon specimens are available for $20.00*

This fern appears only in the oak-pine cloud forest at high elevations in Mexico along with another Dryopteris species, such as D. wallichiana, which has a world-wide distribution. It is most interesting that both of these ferns, at least in the populations currently grown for temperate gardens, have proven themselves to be reliably tolerant of moderately cold winters. Mickel and Beitel in their "Pteridophyte Flora of Oaxcaca" Mexico feel that “this species appears to be closely related to Dryopteris filix-mas of western North America but it is not the same as the eastern plants of that name.” We have John Mickel to thank for being so enamored with this fern while working on the fern flora of Oaxcaca that he had to test its limits at New York Botanical Garden and in his own garden. Please note that in the 2004 "The Pteridophytes of Mexico" by John Mickel and Alan Smithdle the hyphen between pseudo and filix has been deleted to match the spelling of the first published name. Mickel does spell it with two hyphens in his "Ferns for American Gardens" as do Hoshizaki and Moran in "The Fern Growers Manual, Revised and Expanded Editon". Just as the name implies this fern bears a resemblance to those hybrids between D. affinis (formerly pseudomas) with all its subspecific delineations and D. filix-mas which are now collectively referred to as D. x complexa (see entries for D x complexa 'Stableri' and 'Stableri Crisped'). The Mexican male fern remains upright longer into the winter than either of the other male ferns although it is not as sun or drought tolerant as they are. The fronds arise erectly in a vase-like spray. The linear-lanceolate blades are bi-pinnate near the base and pinnate-pinnatifid pinnate-pinnatifidabove. Mature specimens develop enlarged pinnatifid to fully pinnate bottom pinnules adjacent to to the main rachis on the basal pinnae. It seems to take cultural conditions similar to those in the cloud forest to really develop this distinguishing characteristic yet the plants will flourish in less ideal conditions. 

Frond Condition:  Evergreen

Mature Size:  3-5'

Origin:  Mexico, Guatemala

Cultural Requirements:  Some Shade, Partly Shaded, Full Shade, Evenly Moist

USDA Zones: 5,6,7,8,9

Add To Cart