Our annual end-of-summer contest is here, come on down to the Dave's Garden County Fair!

Bronze Fern, Grape Fern, Cut-leaf Grape Fern, Cutleaf Grapefern

Botrychium dissectum

Family: Ophioglossaceae
Genus: Botrychium (boh-TRY-kee-ee-um) (Info)
Species: dissectum (dy-SEK-tum) (Info)
Synonym:Botrychium dissectum var. oblongifolium
Synonym:Botrychium obliquum var. elongatum
Synonym:Botrychium obliquum
Synonym:Botrychium dissectum var. obliquum



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

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)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:





Provides winter interest

Other details:

This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From spores

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:

Tuskegee, Alabama

Morrilton, Arkansas

Greenville, Indiana

Bastrop, Louisiana

Piedmont, Missouri

Hendersonville, North Carolina

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Crossville, Tennessee

Hurt, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 12, 2007, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Bronze Fern, Grape Fern Botrychium dissectum var. obliquum is Native to Texas and other States.


On Sep 15, 2006, LeBug from Greenville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I rescued two of these ferns from the woods where they are getting ready to build two houses, last year, they had a single frond, this year two, they were in the sun most of the day, with no burn, I have not had the nerve to experiment with it in the sun as of yet, I have 4 now, two to be planted yet, think I will try one in part sun this year and see what happens.

My experience with these ferns is that they die back around Jan. and pop back up as late as June and on there way to turning bronze right now.

Will write more about them next year, am going to write down when it dies back exactly, and when it starts to come back up, very unusual fern. I love it!


On May 17, 2004, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

The bronze fern grows in shady,moist bottomland or rich wooded ravines here in Southeast Missouri. I have also seen it growing in thick leaf mulch at the border of my woods. It is somewhat rare. The single leaf turns bronze in the fall, hence the name. The foliage persists over winter. This variety is less dissected than than Botrychium dissectum var. dissectum. I will try to get a picture of the fertile spike later this year.