Male fern is a robust, showy species that grows around our streams and irrigation ditches. It is moisture and shade loving, similar to lady fern, but has broader leaves and a denser growth habit. I know what you're thinking: you got lady fern...this one should be gentleman fern. I totally agree.
Plant this gentle-fellow where you know it will get plenty of water (perhaps conveniently next to a spigot on a north-facing wall). I've often seen it growing with seep monkeyflower, thimbleberry, cow parsnip, baneberry, and northern black currant.
- Dryopteris felix-mas