Goldie’s Fern, Dryopteris goldiana, is our largest native fern. Reaching a height of 4′, this deep green clumper makes for a very impressive specimen in the garden. Named after the Scottish botanist John Goldie, Goldie’s fern is found growing in part to full shade in moist woodlands. We have found that like most of the male ferns, it is also very tolerant of drought, rocky soil, and tree root competition. The fronds are up to 1 1/2′ wide, and while not evergreen, are one of the last to go down before winter. It is native to the eastern US and Canada, and in Maine it is listed as of special concern due to habitat loss and possibly over collecting. This a very worthwhile fern to grow that adds structure and texture to the shade garden without taking it over. Goldie’s fern is slow to mature but well worth the wait.