Alphabetical Plant Listing

Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern)

Ostrich Fern, Ostrich-Feather Fern, Shuttlecock Fern


Resembling long, feathery Ostrich plumes, Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern) is an elegant, upright to arching, deciduous fern with showy, finely dissected, fresh green sterile fronds. Emerging at the base of the plant in spring, they gracefully unfurl until they depreciate over the summer and lose their leaflets later in the fall, as the plant goes dormant for the winter. They surround shorter, brownish fertile fronds which will persist into winter. Low maintenance, pest and disease free, Ostrich Fern is a great asset for the bog garden!

  • Clump-forming, it easily grows up to 4-6 ft. tall (90-180 cm) and 3-4 ft. wide (90-120 cm) and naturalizes well, forming superb colonies of erect rosettes.
  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society for its outstanding qualities
  • A part shade to full shade lover, it is best grown in rich, consistently moist, well-drained soils. Do not allow the soil to dry out. Doesn't tolerate summer heat or humidity. Mulch this plant to help maintain the soil moisture and keep the roots cool. Wet soils tolerated.
  • This plant is a great choice for shady beds, borders, underplanting of roses and shrubs, cottage gardens, woodlands or along streams, ponds or water gardens. Combines beautifully with Astilbes, Hostas or Primulas.
  • Rabbit, deer, clay & wet soil tolerant!
  • Remove faded fronds regularly and divide plants when crowded.
  • Propagate by sowing spores when ripe or by division in spring. The best time to plant ferns is in spring or fall.
  • Native to North America.

Ferns come in an amazing array of texture, color, sizes and shapes. Easy to grow and quite versatile, they add beauty to almost any spot in the garden. While most ferns enjoy part shade or dappled sunlight, there are many which will also perform well in sunny locations, provided they get enough water. Most ferns are slow growing and may take several years to reach their mature size. Requiring minimal maintenance throughout the year, they offer gardeners plenty of attractive planting options!

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 7
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Ferns
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 4' – 6' (120cm – 180cm)
Spread 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spacing 36" – 48" (90cm – 120cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Native Plants United States, Alaska, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Virginia, West Virginia
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Rabbit, Wet Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Shutterstock, Chanticleer Garden, Still Riverside (Flickr), Ryan Somma (Flickr)

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 7
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Ferns
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 4' – 6' (120cm – 180cm)
Spread 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spacing 36" – 48" (90cm – 120cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Native Plants United States, Alaska, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Virginia, West Virginia
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Rabbit, Wet Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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