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Ferns

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During the earth's carboniferous era, 363 to 290 million years ago, ferns dominated the extensive forests throughout the world, many growing into huge 30 metre high trees. Since then there has been continental shift and climate changes with the consequence that ferns have evolved into the numerous species we see today. Tree ferns still exist, mostly in tropical climates. However, there are a number, i.e. Dicksonia antartica, which grow in the more temperate parts of New Zealand. These tree ferns have a 3 metre tall fibrous trunk, which is topped with large green fronds and, fortunately, they are hardy enough to grow in most sheltered gardens in the UK. In recent years, there has been a surge in the popularity of ferns and as a result there are now many species and cultivars for people to choose from which will grow in either wet, dry, shady, or sunny gardens. Ferns vary in height, form and foliage colour, giving elegance to the garden, with which few other plants can compete.

Please bear in mind that the plants listed may not be available at all times of the year. Email enquiries@goscote.co.uk for details of specific plant availability.

A  
Adiantum  'Miss Sharples'   
A superb form of a beautiful fern with pale leaf fronds on almost black stems.  Requires some shelter in shade and moisture around roots at all times.  Prefers an alkaline soil.  Height 1-1.5 feet
Asplenium trichomanes    
Commonly known as Maidenhair Spleenwort, this semi-evergreen fern is ideal for rockeries and cool, sheltered areas.  It has dark green deeply cut fronds.  Height 15cm and spread 30cm.
Asplenium scolopendrium 'Angustatum'   
A lovely evergreen native fern whose narrow, shining green leaves have a delicately ruffled edge. Will grow in most fertile moist but well drained soils in sun or up to 60% shade. Height 12 inches.
Asplenium scolopendrium Crispum Group   
A superb native, evergreen fern, whose bright green fronds are beautifully frilled along the edges. Will grow in most fertile, well drained soils in sun or part shade. Height 45cm
Asplenium scolopendrium 'Muricatum'   
A neat, low growing, evergreen, native fern. Whose green, strap shaped fronds have a ruffled edge. Will grow in most fertile, well drained soils in sun or part shade. Height 30cm.
Asplenium scolopendrium   award
The Harts Tongue Fern. A very hardy, evergreen clump forming fern with long, narrow, green, strap-like leaves. Superb plant for a shady spot. Will grow in most fertile, well drained soil including those over chalk. Height 18 inches.
Athyrium angustatum 'Lady in Red'   
A deciduous clump forming fern with vibrant burgundy colour running through the stipe, creating a sharp contrast with green fronds.  Full colour occurs after 2nd winter.  Height 30-36 inches.
Athyrium filix-femina 'Frizelliae'  award
The Tatting Fern. An elegant green deciuous fern whose narrow green fronds have flattish balls of pinnae either side giving a necklace-like appearance. Requires a fertile, moist, woodland type soil in part shade. Height 18 inches.
Athyrium filix-femina 'Vernoniae'  award
Deciduous fern. Dainty, lance-shaped, much divided, arching fonds are pale green. Fully hardy. Requires shade and humus-rich, moist soil. Height 3 feet.
Athyrium niponicum Pictum'  award
The Japanese Painted Fern whose broad fronds have wine-red leaf stalks and ribs which contrast well with the grey-green leaves. Requires a fertile, moist soil and sheltered, shady site. Height 18 to 24 inches.
Athyrium otophorum Okanum'   
Semi-evergreen fern The Eared Lady Fern. An elegant fern with broad pale green fronds. Noticeable maroon coloured spores in late summer. Requires a fertile, moist, woodland type soil in part shade. Height 2 feet
Athyrium  'The Ghost'   
A strong tall growing deciduous clump forming variety of fern.  Fronds are ghostly grey green colour.  Needs a sheltered position.  Height 30-36 inches.
B
Blechnum minus    
A lovely evergreen Australian fern for a warm, shady garden. Long, arching green fronds which persist for 2 years. Old fronds should be cut out as they go brown. Requires a fertile, woodland type soil and shelter from hot sun and cold winds. Height 18 inches
Blechnum nudum    
An evergreen Australian fern which will often form a trunk up to 3 feet high. Long, arching green fronds which remain green for two years, after which they turn brown and should be cut back to the trunk. Requires a fertile, woodland type soil and in cold areas is best grown in a container and taken into a frost free greenhouse in the winter. Height 3 feet.
Blechnum spicant   award
A superb evergreen fern which forms tight congested rosettes of stiff deep green leaves. Ideal for shady spots in the garden. Will grow in most, moist fertile soils. Resents waterlogged soils and hot sun. Height 12 inches.
C
Cyathea cooperi    
An unusual Australian tree fern which forms a slender trunk which is topped by elegant arching green fronds often up to 8 feet in length. Requires a fertile, well drained soil containing leaf mould or peat. A shady site and a minimum winter temperature of 10 degrees centigrade. Ideal tub plant for a cool conservatory. Height 8 to 10 feet.
Cyathea dealbata    
The New Zealand Silver Tree Fern. An evergreen tree fern whose large fronds are green on the upper side and silver on the underside. Will eventually form a trunk. Best grown in a fertile, moist, but well drained soil sheltered from the morning and mid-day sun. Height 10 to 15 feet.
Cyathea medullaris    
The Black Tree Fern. A wide spreading evergreen tree fern whose green fronds have black stalks. Will eventually form a trunk. Best grown in a fertile, moist, but well drained soil sheltered from the morning and mid-day sun. Height 10 to 15 feet.
Cyrtomium falcatum   award
Evergreen Japanese fern with leathery, green, pinnate holly-like leaves. An excellent plant for a shady border. Will grow in most fertile, woodland type soils in half-shade. Height 12 to 24 inches
Cyrtomium fortunei   award
A lovely evergreen fern with erect, green broadly sickle-shaped fronds. Excellent tub or container plant which prefers a well drained soil in sun or part shade. Height 18 to 24 inches.
D
Dicksonia antarctica   award
An Australian tree fern which is slow to form a trunk topped with a rosette of large soft leaves during the growing season. Ideal for a cold greenhouse or conservatory. Can be grown outdoors in warmer parts of the British Isles. Requires a fertile, acid soil. Work in leaf mould, composted bark and peat. Shade from sunlight. Height 8 to 10 feet in 50 years.
Dicksonia fibrosa   award
A low growing tree fern which forms a short trunk with a crown of light green fronds. Requires a fertile, well drained soil and shelter from cold winds.   Height 1.5m in 50 years.
Doodia media    
A variety of fern native to the southern hemisphere, closely related to Blechnum.  The new fronds are a deep red, gradually turning pink and then green.  Requires a sheltered spot.  Height 25cm
Dryopteris affinis 'Cristata'  award
The King. A superb clump forming evergreen fern, whose bright green fronds have a fan-like crest on their tips. Will grow in most fertile, well drained soils in sun or half shade. Height 18 to 24 inches.
Dryopteris affinis 'Cristata Augustata'  award
A deciduous male fern with a tall, upright, narrow growth habit which gives the appearance of a shuttlecock. Feathery crested, green fronds, 2 inches wide, have brown scales on the underside. Requires a fertile, moist, woodland type soil in part shade. Height 15 inches.
Dryopteris affinis   award
A beautiful clump forming, evergreen fern with tightly clustered, bright green fronds. Will grow in most fertile, moist but well drained soils in sun or half shade. Height 12 to 18 inches.
Dryopteris carthusiana    
A lovely, elegant fern with triangular green fronds. Handsome where a mass of green is required in a garden. Requires a fertile, moist, but well drained soil in sun or part-shade. Height 2 feet.
Dryopteris cycadina   award
A lovely evergreen fern with bright green outward arching fronds. An excellent all round garden plant which will grow in most fertile, moist but well drained soils in sun or part shade. Height 18 to 24 inches.
Dryopteris erythrosora 'Prolifera'   
A dwarf evergreen Japanese fern with finely divided dark green fronds which are bronze when young. Requires a fertile, moist, woodland type soil in sun or part shade. Height 12 inches, spread 12  inches
Dryopteris erythrosora var. prolifica  award
Superb, low growing, evergreen Japanese fern whose triangular green fronds are an unusual coppery-pink when young. Requires a fertile, moist, woodland type soil in sun or part shade. Height 18 inches.
Dryopteris erythrosora   award
A very unusual fern whose new fronds are a coppery-pink, these mature to a light green. Requires a fertile, moist, but well drained soil in sun or part shade. Height 18 to 24 inches.
Dryopteris filix-mas 'Crispa Cristata'   
A superb, low growing deciduous fern which looks attractive on a rockery. Neat green, crisped fronds which have a crested end. Will grow in most fertile soils in sun or part shade. Height 12 inches
Dryopteris filix-mas 'Cristata'  award
Deciduous male fern whose tall, upright narrow, feathery crested, green fronds have brown scales on the underside. Requires a fertile, moist, woodland type soil in part shade. Height 15 inches.
Dryopteris filix-mas 'Linearis Polydactyla'   
An elegant evergreen fern with airy, open fronds which look magnificent when covered with frost. Will grow in most fertile soils in sun or part shade. Height 2 feet.
Dryopteris filix-mas   award
The male fern whose tall elegant, light green fronds look ideal in light woodland or a wild garden. Will grow in most fertile soils in part shade; resents full sun. Height 4 feet.
M
Matteuccia struthiopteris   award
Deciduous fern whose large, erect, divided green fronds are arranged like a shuttlecock. Requires a moist, fertile soil in part shade. Excellent waterside or bog garden plant. Height 3 feet.
O
Onoclea sensibilis   award
Deciduous, low growing fern with attractive deeply divided, triangular shaped leaves which are green flushed with pink in the spring and yellow in the autumn. Requires a moist, fertile soil in part shade. Height 18 inches.
Osmunda regalis 'Purpurescens'  award
The Royal Fern. A large deciduous fern whose broad, bright green fronds are red flushed when young. More delicately divided than Osmunda regalis.  Tassle like rust-brown spore bearing fronds on mature plants. Requires a moist, fertile soil sheltered from strong sunlight. Height 3 to 5 feet.
P
Polypodium vulgare 'Bifidomultifidum'   
Evergreen fern with branching crested fronds. Plant in fertile, well drained soil in dappled light. Height 1 foot, spread 1 foot.
Polypodium vulgare    
Evergreen fern with narrow lance shaped divided, herringbone-like mid green fronds, arising from creeping rhizomes covered with copper-brown scales. Suits a rock garden.  Requires partial shade and moist soil. Height and spread 10 to 12 inches.
Polystichum munitum   award
Evergreen fern with erect, leathery, lance- shaped dark green fronds that consist of small spiny margined pinnae. Requires partial shade and moist soil. Height 3 to 4 feet, spread 1 foot. 
Polystichum polyblepharum   award
Stought evergreen fern with large, dark green, leathery fronds, excellent pondside plant. Requires a fertile, woodland type soil in sun or half shade. Height 2 to 4 feet.
Polystichum setiferum Divisilobum Group   
Evergreen or semi-evergreen fern. Broadly lance-shaped or oval, soft textured, much divided, spreading fronds are clothed with white scales as they unfurl.  Requires partial shade and moist soil. Height 12 inches, spread 2 feet.
Polystichum setiferum 'Gracile'   
A neat evergreen fern with slender finely cut bright green fronds.  Best grown in part shade in a moist fertile soil.  Height 1¢ to 2 feet.
Polystichum setiferum 'Plumosomultilobum   
Evergreen. A superb fern with elegant green, deeply divided leaves. Excellent plant for a shady spot. requires a fertile, moist soil. Height 18 to 24 inches.
Polystichum setiferum 'Proliferum'   
Evergreen or semi-evergreen fern. Broadly lance shaped or oval, finely divided, soft and moss like, spreading fronds are clothed with white scales as they unfurl. Largest fronds bear plantlets on uppersides. Requires partial shade and moist soil.
Polystichum setiferum   award
The Soft Shield Fern which is a superb evergreen fern with green, elegant, deeply cut fronds. Will grow in most moist fertile, soils in sun or part shade. Excellent for flower arranging. Height 2 feet.
W
Woodwardia fimbriata   award
A large growing evergreen fern with bold, lance shaped fronds.  It prefers acid or neutral soils in moist shade and requires a sheltered site. Height 0.6 to 2 metres