Calling all writers, especially those who wax poetic! If you have a way with words, here's your chance to put pen to paper and try your hand at writing an award-winning piece for us. Find all the details on our contest page.

Giant Chain Fern

Woodwardia fimbriata

Family: Blechnaceae
Genus: Woodwardia (wood-WARD-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: fimbriata (fim-bry-AH-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Woodwardia chamissoi
Synonym:Woodwardia paradoxa



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


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)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:



Grown for foliage



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

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


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

Crescent City, California

El Cerrito, California

Fair Oaks, California

Hayward, California

Merced, California

Monrovia, California

Simi Valley, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Ashland, Oregon

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 31, 2012, pennysn2bugs from Brooks, OR wrote:

During the week of Aug 12, 2012, while camping on Briggs Creek, SW Oregon (Josephine Co), I had the pleasure of encountering this beautiful fern. I had never seen a fern quite like this before, and was enthralled with it, determined to find out what kind it was. (I even brought home a small specimen w/roots intact in native soil.) It definitely is a water lover, as it was flourishing close to streams and/or in soggy ground. I don't recall ever seeing a fern like it here in the Western Cascades or Willamette Valley, which is a good 150+ miles further north of where I found it. I hope I can provide it with its requirements and coax it into a healthy, thriving fern in all its glory, just as I remember it. What a beautiful and interesting addition to my shaded yard.


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

This fern is native to British Columbia, Canada, the USA (Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington), and Mexico.


On Apr 10, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Easy to grow fern for me as long as I don't let it get overheated and sunny. It is a native fern to the Western US and Canada... can grow in the right environment fronds up to 9' tall. Will root new ferns where leaves touch the ground. Sometimes deciduous in certain climates.