Fern - Spreading Wood Fern, Dryopteris Expansa, has a stout, woody, creeping or ascending stock with large, green lacy fronds. The leaflets of the fronds have fringed tips and sides. It grows one to two feet long, in open, graceful clumps, and has a ruffled look. Wood Fern is a species of fern native to cool, temperate, and subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It prefers cool, moist mixed or evergreen forests and rock crevices on alpine slopes, often growing on rotting logs and tree stumps and rocky slopes. It is especially associated with stream banks. The species name of this fern, expansa, is from the Latin expando, meaning "to spread out, spread apart, to expand". Other common names include Northern Wood Fern, Arching Wood Fern, Spiny Wood Fern and Crested Wood Fern.