Ontario Ferns website

Male Fern
(Dryopteris filix-mas)

Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas) Other scientific names: Aspidium filix-mas, Polypodium filix-mas, Thelypteris filix-mas

French names: Dryoptère fougère male

Family: Wood Fern Family (Dryopteridaceae)

Similar species:
  •   Lady Fern (Athyrium filix-femina)

  •   Spinulose Wood Fern (Dryopteris carthusiana)

  •   Intermediate Wood Fern (Dryopteris intermedia)
  •   Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris)
  •   Cinnamon Fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum)

Fronds: Twice divided

Height: Up to 1 m (3 ft)

Habitat: Woods, almost always on dolostone.

Native/Non-native: Native

Status: Rare in Ontario except on the Bruce Peninsula, where it is fairly common.

Notes: Easily confused with other Wood Ferns, and therefore hard to identify.

Photographs: 37 photographs available, of which 6 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas)

Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas)

This photo shows its resemblance to Lady Fern (Athyrium filix-femina).

Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas)

Closer view of the frond.

Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas)

Underside of the frond, showing the sori.

Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas)

Large, round sori, aligned along the mid-vein of each leaflet.

Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas)

Closeup of the sori.


Range map for Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)