Matteuccia struthiopteris

Common name: Ostrich Fern

Native plant

Ostrich fern is a clump-forming, arching, deciduous fern which typically grows 2-3' tall in cultivation. Great fern for massing in moist, shady woodland areas, wild gardens or wet areas near streams or ponds. Interplant with early spring wildflowers like trilliums, bloodroot, and Virginia bluebells which will be well on the way toward dormancy by the time this fern reaches full size. Prefers rich soils with constant moisture, but will easily grow in average, medium to wet soil in part to full shade.  Spreads by underground rhizomes to form dense colonies in optimum growing conditions. For those of you that are foragers, the young fiddleheads taste a lot like green beans both raw and slightly steamed.


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Price Level: 
Perennial- Specialty Species Tier 2
Sizing Options: 
Flat of 18 (pints)
1 Gallon


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Plant Details

Plant type


Soil type

Mesic (Not too Wet Not too Dry), Moist Mesic, Wet

Light exposure

Eastern Exposure / Morning Sun, High Canopy Shade (Usually from oaks), Partial Sun / Part Shade, Shade

Bloom period


Urban environment

Uncompacted Urban Soils, Yards that Flood


Floodplain, Moist Woods, Savannas, Wetlands, Woodlands

Growth form

Colonizing / Spreading, Rhizomatous/stoloniferous

Growth rate


Flower color


Fall color



Mature height
2 Feet
Mature width
1 Feet
Max height
4 Feet
Max width
2 Feet

Additional information

Great for Screening/Border Plantings Rain garden suited

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