1. American maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum)
Native to northeastern North America. Deciduous; airy, rounded leaflets arranged in finger-like pattern on wiry black stems. Forms dense colonies. Despite fragile look, tough as nails in moist, acidic soil in part shade.
Height 30 to 60 cm
2. Golden male fern (Dryopteris affinis) and male fern (D. filix-mas)
Semi-evergreen; tall and robust, with many crested forms. Very adaptable; tolerate part sun; tolerate drought in medium shade. D. a. ‘Polydactyla Dadds' is one of the most handsome and reliable varieties.
Height 60 to 120 cm
3. Hart's tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium syn. Phyllitis scolopendrium)
Evergreen; undivided fronds; many varieties with wavy to ruffled edges. Needs neutral to alkaline soil that's moist but well drained; don't overwater. Tolerates part sun.
Height 20 to 40 cm
4. Lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina)
Deciduous; hundreds of varieties, most have very finely dissected fronds. Prefers humus-rich loam in light to medium shade, but very adaptable.
Height 50 to 100 cm
5. Royal fern (Osmunda regalis)
Native to eastern North America. Deciduous; majestic, erect fronds with coppery red stems (red-purple in ‘Purpurascens'); foliage turns golden in fall. Tolerates full sun in boggy soil; part shade in average (not too dry) soil.
Height to 1.5 m
6. Autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora)
Evergreen; new spring growth is coppery orange. Very adaptable and resilient; needs good drainage; drought-tolerant in shade.
Height 20 to 50 cm
7. Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum)
Deciduous; striking, metallic-silver fronds with red stems. Needs cool, sheltered site in moist but well-drained, acidic soil. ‘Branford Beauty' is a newer, more vigorous form.
Height 40 to 50 cm