En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - August 04, 2008

From: Thornton, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Ferns
Title: Identity of fern-like plant in woodland garden
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

what is the fern-like, hairy fleshy-stemmed, 12"-18" ht plant in my woodland garden

ANSWER:

You can find native ferns that grow in Pennsylvania by doing a Combination Search in our Native Plant Database. First, choose 'Pennsylvania' from the Select State or Province option, then select 'Fern' from Habit (general appearance).

Additionally, here are four native possibilities that aren't ferns but that sound a bit like the plant you describe:

Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)

Lycopodium digitatum (fan clubmoss) with more photos

Maianthemum racemosum ssp. racemosum (feathery false lily of the valley)

Streptopus lanceolatus var. roseus (twistedstalk)

Of course, it is always possible that it isn't a native plant and, thus, wouldn't be in our Native Plant Database.  If it isn't one of these listed above or one of the native ferns, please send us photos and we will do our best to identify it. Please visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page to read instructions (under "Plant Identification") for submitting photos.

 

From the Image Gallery


Field horsetail
Equisetum arvense

Fan clubmoss
Lycopodium digitatum

Feathery false lily of the valley
Maianthemum racemosum ssp. racemosum

Twistedstalk
Streptopus lanceolatus var. roseus

More Ferns Questions

Container plants for cool weather in Cypress TX
October 02, 2011 - I am a novice gardener and I am looking for some ideas on potted plants for the fall/winter. They would be covered by a roof, but still susceptible to the elements. What can be planted now that will...
view the full question and answer

Native container plants from Hillsdale NJ
March 22, 2013 - Looking for suggestions for the easiest natives to grow in containers.
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for shade in Duval County, Florida
September 17, 2014 - What low growing ground cover would be good for a lake edge area. This area is shaded with overlying woodland type trees. I planted some autumn ferns but they have getting overrun with poison ivy. I a...
view the full question and answer

Native Texas Plants for a Terrarium
October 08, 2014 - I have a 55-gallon aquarium that I would like to make into a terrarium. Are there any Texas native plants that would do well in the limited artificial light of the tank? The plants should be of varyin...
view the full question and answer

Environmental factors that affect lifecycle stages of maidenhair fern.
November 07, 2014 - What are the environmental factors that can affect the lifecycle stages of a maidenhair fern, particularly A. trichorleopis? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center