Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern) grown in a 1-gallon pot.
Close-up of the foliage of Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern).

Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern) Unity Grown

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Matteuccia struthiopteris, commonly referred to as ostrich fern, is a clump-forming, deciduous fern named for its feathery resemblance to ostrich plume feathers. Ostrich fern typically grows 2-3' tall in cultivation or when grown in containers, but may reach 6' tall when naturalized in moist, cool areas like forest understories. The plant's main leaves emerge at the narrow base of the clumps in spring as the familiar "fiddleheads," and slowly unfurl until they reach full length.

Ostrich ferns have two parts that make up their main above-ground body: showy, feather-like sterile vegetative fronds consisting of dissected compound leaflets, as well as spike-like fertile fronds, which resemble brown, underdeveloped fronds, but which are responsible for the plants reproduction and creation of new fern spores. Matteuccia struthiopteris can sometimes colonize areas rapidly, so care should be taken with choosing a proper location for planting.

Native to U.S., Native to Maryland, and Straight Species
Mature Plant Height:Medium: 30-48" and Tall: 49-72"
Part Shade/Sun (4-6 hours of sun) and Full Shade (less than 4 hours of sun)
Soil Moisture: Wet and Medium to Wet
Soil Type: Wide Tolerance, Clay, Sand, Loam, and Acidic
Foliage Color: Green
Features: Winter Interest
Tolerances: Deer Tolerant, Rabbit Tolerant, Shade Tolerant, Wet Soil Tolerant, and Clay Soil Tolerant
Garden Type: Woodland Garden and Rain Garden

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