Thelypteris spp.

maiden fern, southern shield fern


Synonyms:  Thelypteris kunthii, Thelypteris palustris, Thelypteris dentata, Thelypteris interrupta, Thelypteris ovata, Thelyteris serrata, etc.

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Use this link to get more info about this plant from the USF Institute for Systematic Botany

Plant Specifics

Form: fern
Life Span: long-lived perennial
Size: Height: 1-2 (5) ft    Width: Spreads
Phenology: evergreen
Noted for: Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses: Groundcover recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restoration.
Considerations: The native range varies by species. Please use species appropriate to your area.
Propagation: Division. These ferns will spread broadly if conditions are appropriate.
Availability: Native nurseries, Friends
Light: light requirement   light requirement  
Moisture Tolerance:
Salt Tolerance: Not salt tolerant
Soil or other substrate: Sand, organic material (muck)
Soil pH Range: Varies, mostly acidic


Cover for many ground-dwelling species.
Native Habitats: Hydric and mesic hammocks, shallow swamps and swamp edges, floodplains.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida

USDA Zones:

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures

Suitable to grow in:

Other Comments:

These are generally moist site ferns though some (T. kunthii, T. ovata) grow in mesic uplands. Most are similar in appearance, and all will grow in a moist, shady garden setting. Most are adaptable and easy to grow.