Herbs & Plants

Dryopteris schimperiana

Botanical Name : Dryopteris schimperiana
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Subfamily: Dryopteridoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Division: Polypodiophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Suborder: Polypodiineae

Common Names: Wood fern, Male fern (referring in particular to Dryopteris filix-mas ), or Buckler fern

Habitat: Dryopteris schimperiana is native to E. Asia( Japan and south-central and southeast China) – Himalayas around 2000 metres.It grows on Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge.

Dryopteris schimperiana is elegant, deciduous, semi-evergreen or evergreen ferns noted for their shuttlecock of arching fronds originating from erect or branching rhizomes. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from dwarfs for rock gardens to dramatic and architectural plants that are the sentinels of the garden.


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Dryopteris schimperiana prefers an acid to neutral soil, succeeding in ordinary fertile soil in a shady position. Prefers a moist soil, but plants are drought tolerant when established. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Through spores – can be sown at any time of the year in a greenhouse. Surface sow on a sterilised compost and keep moist, possibly by placing the pot in a plastic bag. Germinates in 1 – 3 months at 20°c. Pot up small clumps of the plants when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a shady part of the greenhouse until large enough to plant out. Division in spring. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Edible Uses: Not known>

Medicinal Uses:
The root contains 4.4% ‘filicin’, a substance that paralyses tapeworms and other internal parasites and has been used as a worm expellent. It is one of the most effective treatments known for tapeworms – its use should be immediately followed by a non-oily purgative such as magnesium sulphate in order to expel the worms from the body. An oily purge, such as caster oil, increases the absorption of the fern root and can be dangerous. The root is harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use, it should not be stored for longer than 12 months. This remedy should be used with caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The root is toxic and the dosage is critical. See also the notes above on toxicity.

Other Uses:This is an ornamental fern and it beautifies the garden. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society ‘s Award of Garden Merit as an ornamental.

Known Hazards: The fresh plant contains thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase. However, there have been reports for other species of ferns suggesting that even cooked fronds can have a long term harmful effect. Some caution is therefore advised.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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