Native Plants Series: Ostrich Fern


The ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) can be found in Northern and Northeastern North America. It typically grows to 3' tall, but can be twice that tall in the wild. It will gradually spread to form a colony when placed in its favorite conditions: rich moist soils that never dry out, in full to part shade. It is tolerant of rabbits and clay soil. This would be a great fern to plant alongside your shady woodland water feature or creek.


Here in South Central PA, this fern actually does support three species of moth caterpillars.


Sources: USDA, National Wildlife Federation, Missouri Botanical Garden

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