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Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich fern) | NPIN

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Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich fern)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Matteuccia struthiopteris

Matteuccia struthiopteris (L.) Todaro

Ostrich fern

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 Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

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.


Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.


USA: 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 Conditions

Light 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.


Description: Not Available
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Suppliers Directory

According 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 Directory

According 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 resources

USDA: Find Matteuccia struthiopteris in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Matteuccia struthiopteris in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Matteuccia struthiopteris


Record Modified: 2008-06-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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