Dennstaedtia punctilobula (Michx.) T. Moore
Eastern Hay-scented Fern
Dennstaedtiaceae (Bracken Fern Family)
USDA Symbol: DEPU2
The fronds of Eastern hay-scented fern are as much as a foot wide and occur singly in large colonies. The foliage is medium green and two or three times cut, yielding a fine texture. The most striking thing about this 1-3 ft. fern is the soft, hairy surface of its fronds.
From a distance, Hay-scented fern can be confused with Lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina) or Silvery glade fern (Deparia acrostichoides), but it may be recognized by the sweet scent of new mown hay which is released when the blade is crushed between the fingers or when it is dried.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Size Class: 3-6 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NL , NS , ON , PE
Native Distribution: GA & AL to AR, n. to s. Nf., s.w. Que., MI, s. IL & MO
Native Habitat: Rocky, open woods; shady places; damp slopes
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Moist, well-drained, somewhat sterile soil.
BenefitInteresting Foliage: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
PropagationDescription: Propagate by spores or rhizome division. Cut rhizomes between fronds, set apart and trim back at least half of each frond.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
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
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Dennstaedtia punctilobula in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Dennstaedtia punctilobula in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Dennstaedtia punctilobula
MetadataRecord Modified: 2018-03-07
Research By: TWC Staff