Male fern: Dryopteris
The male, a member of the Dryopteridaceae family that includes about 200 species of deciduous and evergreen , is native to the forest areas of the northern hemisphere. Many of the frost-resistant varieties have very decorative, pinnate fronds and are ideal for growing in pots and containers. They prefer a position in shade or partial shade where they are sheltered from the wind. Dead fronds should always be removed. D. affinis has green, leathery fronds that last well into the winter. Equally imposing is the male fern 100 cm (39 in) tall; there are also more compact varieties. The broad buckler or shield fern D. dilitata is smaller with fronds 30 cm (12 in) long and is therefore suitable for growing in containers on balconies. They all thrive in fertile, humus-rich, moist . They are propagated by division in spring. In cold winters a light protection is recommended.