Gymnocarpium dryopteris (L.) Newman
oak fern (western oakfern)
Dryopteridaceae (Wood Fern family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Bryan Kelly-McArthur     (Photo ID #68827)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Gymnocarpium dryopteris
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Deciduous perennial arising individually at spaced intervals from long creeping rhizomes and usually in large colonies.
On wiry, smooth stipes 5-25 cm long, blades triangular, 5-15 cm long and about the same width, 2-pinnate; ultimate segments lobed.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Gymnocarpium dryopteris

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
941 0 2750
Slope Gradient (%)
21 0 410

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

354 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

AT(1), BWBS(98), CDF(1), CWH(1604), ESSF(2134), ICH(2730), IDF(116), MH(169), MS(187), SBPS(21), SBS(1601), SWB(1)

Habitat and Range

Moist to wet rocky forests, bog margins, and rocky ledges in the montane and subalpine zones; frequent east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to PA and MI; Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Dryopteris dryopteris (L.) Britt.
Dryopteris linnaeana C. Chr.
Phegopteris dryopteris (L.) FΘe
Thelypteris dryopteris (L.) Slosson