Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Southern Shield Fern, Southern Wood Fern, Southern Maiden Fern, River Fern, Widespread Maiden Fern
Thelypteris kunthii

Family: Thelypteridaceae
Genus: Thelypteris (the-LIP-ter-is) (Info)
Species: kunthii (KUN-thee-eye) (Info)

Synonym:Dryopteris normalis
Synonym:Dryopteris saxatilis
Synonym:Thelypteris macrorhizoma
Synonym:Thelypteris normalis
Synonym:Thelypteris unca

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

26 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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By wooffi
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By Cretaceous
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By wooffi
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By Cretaceous
Thumbnail #4 of Thelypteris kunthii by Cretaceous

By BlissfulGarden
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By turektaylor
Thumbnail #6 of Thelypteris kunthii by turektaylor

By riddler
Thumbnail #7 of Thelypteris kunthii by riddler

There are a total of 8 photos.
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2 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral CarloInTX On Apr 26, 2008, CarloInTX from Denton, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Planted two of these in a moderately shady area of the yard (Denton, TX 76209). When winter came, they dried up and became a bunch of twigs which did not come back in spring. I want to try them again.

Neutral Cretaceous On Mar 25, 2007, Cretaceous from El Sobrante, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

This fern is native to the USA (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas), Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Turks and Caicos.

Positive princessnonie On Jul 6, 2006, princessnonie from New Caney, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

In Zone 8b they freeze to the ground but reemerge in Spring, which probably keeps them from being too aggressive here..

Positive sybelle On Aug 25, 2003, sybelle from Savannah, GA wrote:

We started with one little clump, dwarfed by the ivy that had overpowered an entire backwall of our house. The ivy went, the fern died in the fall. (Or so we thought). Next spring we redid the bed where it was and we found the fern roots. We had no hope but left them and covered them with a thin film of dirt. By the end of that fall the fern was more than 3 ft tall and had extended about 3 ft to each side. This year we hacked some root clumps out and spread them by one of the side fences. Hmmm talk about a nice cover for that cyclone fence!

Warning: the spores will spread all over the place and your fern will grown in every pot and every inch of dirt you have. Aggresive control is advised.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 5, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Native to the U.S. - Southern regions. Very graceful foliage plant. Tolerates moist and dry conditions. Fast grower. Easy to transplant.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Bartow, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Fruitland Park, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Largo, Florida
Miami, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Augusta, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Abita Springs, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Geismar, Louisiana
Monroe, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Florence, Mississippi
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Ladys Island, South Carolina
Christiana, Tennessee
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Dallas, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Lubbock, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
New Caney, Texas
Spring, Texas (2 reports)
Victoria, Texas
Weatherford, Texas
Lexington, Virginia
Rocky Mount, Virginia

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