Dryopteris marginalis - Marginal Shield Fern
The broad, dark, leathery, twice-pinnate, evergreen fronds of marginal wood fern are from 1-3 ft. high and as much as 10 in. wide. They arise in vase-like circles from the rootstock, which has a 1 to 4 inch-high crown and sends out shallow, non-colonizing roots radially. Fiddleheads arise in spring and are golden brown and furry.A well-behaved, non-colonizing fern for the cool, eastern woodland landscape, this fern never becomes aggressive. In snowy winters, it can be glimpsed protruding through blankets of snow, its blue-green coloration in stately contrast to the surrounding white.