Matteuccia struthiopteris – Matteuccia pensylvanica – Ostrich Fern –


Matteuccia –

There are 4 species of deciduous, terrestrial ferns in this genus. They occur in moist, deciduous woodland, in Europe, Eastern Asia, and North America. In spring the erect creeping rhizomes produce lance shaped, pinnate to 2 pinnatifid sterile fronds in regular shuttlecocks. The sterile fronds are followed in mid and late summer by distinctive densely contracted, smaller, more erect, darker, and longer stalked fertile fronds, which persist over winter.   These ferns should be grown in moist shade in a woodland garden, in a damp border, or at the edge of a pond.

Grow in humus rich, moist but well drained, neutral to slightly acidic soil in partial shade. Divide in early spring or late winter which may be slow to reestablish.

 M. struthiopteris – M. pensylvanica – Ostrich Fern – This rhizomatous fern found in the Northern Hemisphere grows 5 ½’ feet tall and 3′ feet wide. From erect shuttlecocks it produces broadly lance shaped, pinnate, pale green sterile fronds, 2-5′ feet or more long, with narrowly lance shaped, pinnatifid pinnae.   Shorter, contracted,, lance shaped, dark brown fertile fronds, 12″ or more long, which appear in late summer, have linear pinnae with very thick, strongly enrolled edges. Vigorously spread by horizontal rhizomes, producing offset plants 4-8″ from the parent plant. Can be invasive.

Zones 2-8