Dryopteris Adans.

Photo: P. Ballings


Description of the genus

Terrestrial plants. Rhizome erect or creeping; rhizome scales broad, mostly entire, concolorous. Fronds tufted, herbaceous. Stipe not articulated, often with persistent scales. Lamina broadly deltate to lanceolate, pinnate to quadripinnate, basal pinnae often basiscopically enlarged but not as long as the lamina. Lamina scales/hairs, if present, unistratose(1 layer) at the base. Ultimate segments crenate to serrate, rarely aristate-dentate. Veins free, forked. Sori round, superficial, dorsal, on veins end; indusia kidney-shaped to cordate, rarely exindusiate.


Derivation of name:  drys: oak, pteris: fern; referring to the preferred habitat in oak forests of certain European species.

Comment: Nothorperanema is sometimes included in Dryopteris, we consider them to be 2 separated genera.

Worldwide: c. 255 species, near cosmopolitan distribution.



We have 24 taxa in the database for Dryopteris.

  • Dryopteris affinis (Lowe) Fraser-Jenk
  • Dryopteris amblyodonta J.P.Roux
  • Dryopteris antarctica (Baker) C. Chr.
  • Dryopteris athamantica (Kunze) Kuntze
  • Dryopteris dracomontana Schelpe & N.C.Anthony
  • Dryopteris esterhuyseniae Schelpe & N.C. Anthony
  • Dryopteris fadenii Pic.Serm.
  • Dryopteris filipaleata J.P.Roux
  • Dryopteris filix-mas (L.) Schott
  • Dryopteris glandulosopaleata J.P.Roux
  • Dryopteris inaequalis (Schltdl.) Kuntze
  • Dryopteris katangaensis J.P. Roux
  • Dryopteris kilemensis (Kuhn) Kuntze
  • Dryopteris lewalleana Pic.Serm.
  • Dryopteris manniana (Hook.) C. Chr.
  • Dryopteris occidentalis J.P.Roux
  • Dryopteris pallida (Bory) C.Chr.
  • Dryopteris pentheri (Krasser) C. Chr.
  • Dryopteris rodolfii J.P.Roux
  • Dryopteris ruwenzoriensis C.Chr. ex Fraser-Jenk.
  • Dryopteris schimperiana (Hochst.) C. Chr.
  • Dryopteris submontana (Fraser-Jenk. & Jermy) Frazer-Jenk.
  • Dryopteris tricellularis J.P. Roux
  • Dryopteris wallichiana (Spreng.) Hyl. ssp. reichsteinii Fraser-Jenk.


  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature.
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13: 1-222.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0: 1-254.