Rhizomes short-creeping or erect. Fronds in clusters, divided 2-3 times. Stalks with large scales. Blades elliptic to narrowly-lanceolate in outline to 1 m long, membranous and soft, pale green. Ultimate segments toothed. Sori on lower part of each segment bent across the veins to become 'j' shaped. Indusium membranous.
The common name contrasts with that of the Male Fern, Dryopteris filix-mas.
Will tolerate cool conditions.
Source: (1995). Athyriaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 1, Ferns, conifers & their allies. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.
Much-reduced frond structure with side branches more or less round, giving a bead-like appearance along the midrib. Origin unknown.
Fronds terminated with large crests. Origin unknown.
Individual segments with terminal crests. Origin unknown.
Narrow segments crossing one-another and with a small terminal crest. Origin unknown.