Dryopteris affinis, commonly known as the Golden Male Fern, is a perennial and deciduous plant belonging to the Dryopteridaceae family. It grows to a height of approximately 90cm with a matching spread. The foliage of Dryopteris affinis is predominantly green.
This garden fern is truly magnificent, featuring a shuttlecock-like arrangement of long, upright fronds in a pale green color. These fronds stand in striking contrast to the brown, scaly stems, particularly in spring. While it retains its green color in mild winters, in colder and exposed locations, it is more likely to be deciduous.
Despite requiring shade to thrive, Dryopteris affinis can tolerate several hours of sunlight each day and is more resistant to wind compared to most ferns. It is an excellent choice for damp and shady areas in the garden, where it adds a significant presence and complements low groundcover plants beautifully. The Royal Horticultural Society has recognized its merits and awarded it the prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
In terms of cultivation, Dryopteris affinis can be planted throughout the year. It is advisable to divide the plant periodically to ensure its healthy growth and vigor.