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The moth genus Dryopteris is now considered a junior synonym of Oreta.

Dryopteris /drˈɒptərɪs/,[1] commonly called wood fern, male fern (referring in particular to Dryopteris filix-mas), or buckler fern, is a genus of about 250 species of ferns with distribution in Eastern Asia, the Americas, Europe, Africa, and the Pacific islands, with the highest species diversity in eastern Asia.[2] Many of the species have stout, slowly creeping rootstocks that form a crown, with a vase-like ring of fronds. The sori are round, with a peltate indusium. The stipes have prominent scales.

Dryopteris filix mas nf.jpg
Male fern (Dryopteris filix-mas)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Subfamily: Dryopteridoideae
Genus: Dryopteris

See text

Hybridisation is a well-known phenomenon within this group, with many species formed by this method.



Dryopteris species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Batrachedra sophroniella (which feeds exclusively on D. cyatheoides) and Sthenopiseauratus.

Cultivation and usesEdit

D. goldieana, Goldie's fern

Many Dryopteris species are widely used as garden ornamental plants, especially D. affinis, D. erythrosora, and D. filix-mas, with numerous cultivars.

Dryopteris filix-mas was throughout much of recent human history widely used as a vermifuge, and was the only fern listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia. Traditional use in Scandinavia against red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) infestation is to place fronds in nesting boxes under nesting material and under floor covering material.

Selected speciesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  2. ^ Sessa, Emily B.; Juslén, Aino; Väre, Henry; Chambers, Sally M. (March 2017). "Into Africa: Molecular phylogenetics and historical biogeography of sub-Saharan African woodferns (Dryopteris)". American Journal of Botany. 104 (3): 477–486. doi:10.3732/ajb.1600392.

External linksEdit