Matteuccia struthiopteris (L.) Todaro
Dryopteridaceae (Wood Indies-Almond Family)
Synonym(s): Matteuccia pensylvanica, Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica, Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pubescens, Onoclea struthiopteris, Onoclea struthiopteris var. pensylvanica, Pteretis nodulosa, Pteretis pensylvanica
USDA Symbol: MAST
The sterile fronds of ostrich fern are 2-8 ft. tall, once-pinnate, tapered at both base and apex, brown-stemmed, and slightly scaly. Fertile fronds are shorter, with edges of pinnae turned in to form a beaded plume persistent through winter. The rootstock is creeping, producing urn-like clusters of fronds.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Size Class: 3-6 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.
DistributionUSA: AK , CT , DC , IA , IL , IN , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , ND , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SD , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NL , NS , ON , PE
Native Distribution: Nf. to s. AK, s. to n. VA, MO, SD & s. B.C.
Native Habitat: Swamps; bottomland woods & thickets
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Cool, wet, sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Ostrich fern can become aggressive and should not be used in small spaces.
PropagationDescription: Not Available
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
Toadshade Wildflower Farm - Frenchtown, NJ
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.View Recommended Species page
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Matteuccia struthiopteris in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Matteuccia struthiopteris in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Matteuccia struthiopteris
MetadataRecord Modified: 2008-06-01
Research By: TWC Staff