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NPIN: Native Plant Database

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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 Symbol: mast

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
Flower:
Fruit:
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

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

Distribution

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.

Propagation

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

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACW FACW FACW FACW FACW FAC FACW
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 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

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

Metadata

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

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