Dryopteris marginalis, vernacularly known as the marginal shield fern or marginal wood fern is a perennial species of fern found in damp shady areas throughout eastern North America, from Texas to Minnesota and Newfoundland.
Dryopteris marginalis, commonly called marginal shield fern, is an evergreen, Missouri native fern which typically forms a non-spreading, vase-shaped clump to 1.5-2' (infrequently to 3') tall. This is a woodland fern which is most often found in shaded crevices of rocky ledges and bluffs. Features grayish-green, deeply cut, leathery fronds (15-20" long). Sori are located at the edges or margins of the pinnule undersides, hence the common name. Rhizome forms an erect crown. Evergreen fronds provide good interest to the winter landscape. Genus name 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.