Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Gerald L. Klingaman
Ostrich fern is a herbaceous plant native to northern woodlands and wetlands in Europe, East Asia, and North America. In spring its tightly curled "fiddleheads" unfurl to majestic sterile fronds clustered in vase-shaped clumps. It also produces fertile spore-bearing fronds that give the appearance of stunted, desiccated sterile fronds. They remain standing after the fertile fronds decline in fall. Plants spread vigorously by thick underground rhizomes.
To reach its impressive full size, ostrich fern needs moist humus-rich soil and partial shade. In such conditions it can quickly engulf and overwhelm less vigorous companions, so site it carefully. The stout rhizomes can also heave paths and driveways. Use it as a large-scale groundcover where it can spread with impunity, or naturalize it in moist woodland or along a stream.
8 - 1
2 - 8
A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20
Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade
2'-6' / 0.6m - 1.8m
18"-36" / 45.7cm - 91.4cm
North America, Europe, Eastern Asia
Spring, Summer, Fall
Bog Garden, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Wildflower
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