Dixie Wood Fern

Dryopteris x australis

Family: Dryopteridaceae
Genus: Dryopteris (dry-OP-ter-iss) (Info)
Species: x australis (aw-STRAL-is) (Info)



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Grown for foliage

Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

Conway, Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Jacksonville, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia

Augusta, Georgia

Marietta, Georgia

Toccoa, Georgia

Crestwood, Kentucky

Sadieville, Kentucky

Taylorsville, Kentucky

Centreville, Maryland

Charlotte, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Devon, Pennsylvania

Grantham, Pennsylvania

Memphis, Tennessee

Springfield, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 30, 2017, SecretMonkey from Salisbury, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Very handsome and regal fern. Mine are about 4.5 feet high. I tried dividing the clump and eventually got a take but it has been slow going. I was afraid I had killed the main clump but it has come up every year. It doesn't spread much but the clump has become substantial.


On Oct 27, 2016, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is a natural sterile hybrid between the Log Fern (Dryopeteris celsa) x Southern Shield Fern (Dryopteris ludoviciana). It is found wild in some scattered locations in Louisiana and Arkansas over thru Georgia, up to Maryland; having the most locations in Alabama. A handsome plant.


On May 24, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Dramatic in its impact, due to its size and upright habit. The largest fern native to eastern North America, it can reach close to 5' where happiest. Theodore Kein Plant Award winner for 2010.

Easy, vigorous, and adaptable, best in moist soil and light shade. A wetland plant in the wild, it needs regular moisture and protection from afternoon sun. Easily propagated by division of the short branching rhizome.

This rare fern is a naturally occurring hybrid between D. celsa and D. ludoviciana. It is sterile, and occurs in widely separated stations in the southeastern US from Louisiana to Virginia.

Hardy to Z5. Evergreen to semi-evergreen in Z6 and south.


On May 10, 2012, mgurley from Charlotte, NC wrote:

A large (36-60") evergreen (in zone 7, anyway), upright fern. One of the fastest growing large ferns I have ever grown. Forms nice, large clumps. Went from a one gallon plant to 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide in less than two years. One of my absolute favorites, I would highly recommend it.


On Oct 9, 2006, go2glenn from Suwanee, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

It took quite a while to identify this fern, which I purchased from the clearance table a WalMart (it was just about dead). With help of the owner of Fern Ridge Farms, Canton, GA, I discovered I had purchased a Dryoteris x australis (sterile). It is quite a large, striking fern which has been a great addition to my garden. G


On Jul 27, 2005, shimer from Marietta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I love this plant! I picked it up this spring while still in fiddlehead stage for $5 from Home Depot (of all places--my expections were modest) and have been totally delighted. I planted it at the rear of our property near the top of a slope together with Heuchera 'Chocolate Veil' in a wooded area visible from the living room whenever we look at the bird feeders closer in. In no time, it shot up several fronds 4' tall which are graceful in appearance and breath-taking as it catches the dappled afternoon sunlight. Just captivating. Quoting John T. Mickel in "Ferns for American Gardens": " Dyopteris x australis is one of the great ferns for the garden. It is 4 feet to 5 feet tall, fairly slender, and a lustrous dark green...This sterile hybrid is found in scattered populations from ... read more


On Aug 31, 2004, Shadyfolks from Chesterland, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Beautiful fern here in zone 5. Dies back in fall.


On Jun 8, 2004, sarah19 from Sadieville, KY wrote:

This fern has done very well for me where I live in central KY. In fact, it adapted more readily and grew quicker than any other fern I have planted. It does well with very little attention.


On May 2, 2004, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

A VERY upright fern.
Evergreen to Zone 7.
Semi-evergreen in rest of range.
Moist soil will give best results but IS drought tolerant when established.