In Greek mythology the Oreades were the nymphs of the mountains. This is the male fern of the mountains.
Rhizome: erect, branching; shuttlecock-like clusters eventually making large clusters.
Frond: 70 cm high by 15 cm wide, deciduous, but persisting, monomorphic, blade/stipe ratio: 3:1.
Stipe: grooved, scales moderately dense at the base, lanceolate, tannish, thinning out upwards, vascular bundles: 3-7 in a c-shaped pattern.
Blade: 2-pinnate at the base, less upwards, ovate-lanceolate, stiff, dull surface, linear to ovate scales below, absent above.
Pinnae: 12 to 30 pair, opposite to alternate; pinnules with blunt teeth at the apex, often curling upward from the plane of the blade; costae grooved above, continuous from rachis to costae; margins crenately lobed, curling upwards; veins free, forked.
Sori: round, in 1 row between midrib and margin, confined to the distal one-third of the blade, indusium: reniform, thick, green young, tawny-gray-brown later, at a sinus, sporangia: brownish, maturity: midsummer to early fall.
Dimensionality: lower pinnae curve forward and down, out of the plane of the blade.
Habitat: talus slopes.
Distribution: Iceland, Norway, south to Portugal, Spain, east to the Caucasus, Pakistan.
Hardy to -30°C, USDA Zone 4.
similar to D. filix-mas, but narrower blade, a smaller plant,
and the combination of the curled pinnule margins and the lower pinnae
bending forward and down gives a characteristic crisped appearance
(from C.N. Page, "Ferns of Britain and Ireland", 1997.
Lastrea propinqua Wollaston ex Lowe
Dryopteris abbreviata (DC.) Newman misapplied
Dryopteris filix-mas ssp. oreades (Fomin) O.Bolos & Vigo
Illustration from The Cultivated Species of the Fern Genus Dryopteris in the United States, Barbara Joe Hoshizaki and Kenneth A. Wilson, American Fern Journal, 89, 1, (1999), with permission.