There are hundreds of evergreen and semi-evergreen Dryopteris fern species. Adapted to moist, shady, forest habitats, most species are located in Eastern Asia, with others in this genus found across Europe, America, Africa and the Pacific islands. They are known as one of the most hybridising genera of ferns and many cultivars have been produced for ornamental garden plants. Featherlike fronds emerge and uncurl beautifully in spring and evergreen varieties provide winter interest. Most species prefer moist soil while others can tolerate drier conditions when mature. Generally low maintenance, propagation by spores can be difficult.