There are between 300 and 400 species of ferns in this genus that have a wide distribution. Many of them have stout slowly creeping root stock that forms a crown with a vase shaped ring of fronds. The spore bearing leaves look similar to vegetative leaves. Most of them like consistent moisture.
Name Derivation: from Greek dryas meaning oak and pteris meaning fern in reference to the presence of some species of wood ferns in woodland areas populated with oaks.
Common Name: Wood ferns
Dryopteris is in the family Dryopteridaceae.