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Wood Fern

Thelypteris kunthii

Other common name(s):

River Fern, Southern Shield Fern, Kunth's Maiden Fern, Normal Shield Fern

Family:

Thelypteridaceae (Maiden Fern Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Cross Timbers, East Central Texas Plains, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, Texas Blackland Prairies, Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Eastern Cross Timbers, Grand Prairie
Bastrop Lost Pines, San Antonio Prairie, Southern Post Oak Savanna
Northern Humid Gulf Coastal Prairies, Texas-Louisiana Coastal Marshes
Northern Blackland Prairie, Southern Blackland Prairie
Flatwoods, Southern Tertiary Uplands, Tertiary Uplands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Fern

Height

2
to
3
ft.

Spread

2
to
3
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay, Limestone, Poor Drainage, Moist

Light Requirement

Part Shade, Shade

Water Requirement

Medium

Native Habitat

Woodland, Wetland or Riparian

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

No Bloom

Bloom Season

No Bloom

Seasonal Interest

Fall Color

Wildlife Benefit

Unknown

Maintenance

Likes shady, moist areas. Mulch well. Low maintenance groundcover. Cut off dead fronds before spring growth begins. May be cut after st frost instead. Propagation: Root division.

Comments

Gracefully arching stems. Colonizes by rhizomes. Good foundation plant since it likes moist soil. More shade=lower water needs. Highly deer resistant. Provides habitat for beneficial insects. Offers shelter for small wildlife
Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonym/s: Dryopteris normalis, Dryopteris saxatilis, Thelypteris macrorhizoma, Thelypteris normalis, Thelypteris saxatilis, Thelypteris unca

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) Wasowski and Wasowski, Native Texas Plants Landscaping Region by Region, 1991, pg. 109. 3) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=THKU. 4) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Thelypteris+kunthii&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 5) https://plants.usda.gov/home/plantProfile?symbol=THKU, 6) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=17258#null, 7) Native and Adapted Landscape Plants, City of Austin and Texas A&M, 2014., 8) https://rootedin.com/tough-texas-native-plants-for-shade-creating-a-cool-haven-before-the-heat/
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