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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Matteuccia struthiopteris (L.) Todaro
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.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.
, WV Canada: NB
, 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:
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
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Delaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DEMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2008-06-01
Research By: TWC Staff