Dryopteris filix-mas, the male fern, has been in cultivation in the United States and abroad for many centuries. It was a popular and frequently used medicinal plant curing an assortment of ills and hence a desirable plant for the home garden. Now, however, it is basically a variable ornamental with its value confined to filling in the woodlands. The deciduous lanceolate fronds stretch up to four feet on a happy plant. Not fussy about soil or location, it and its many cultivars can be easily introduced to gardens in Zones 2.