2715 RT 44, Millbrook NY, 12545
(845) 677-8011 ext. 3
dutch@dutchessswcd.org

Ferns

PLANT USE KEY

C = Christmas Tree

F = Human Food

H = Habitat/Food for Wildlife

N = Native

T = Timber

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Christmas Fern

(Polystichum acrostichoides)

Conservation practices: H, N

Soil: Moist-Well Drained

Growth rate: Slow to Moderate

Description: The Christmas fern is one of the most easily recognizable ferns due it its hardiness and wide use in hanging potted displays. This ever green, low growing fern prefers filtered sun and moist but well drained soils often seen on the sides of mountains and ridges and well drained floodplain areas in winter as one of the few foliage retaining ground covers.

https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=POAC4

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Cinnamon Fern

(Osmunda cinnamomea)

Conservation practices: F, H, N

Soil: Moist not saturated

Growth Rate: Slow to Moderate

Description: Cinnamon fern is another common ornamental fern due to the cinnamon colored reproduction fronds that spire out of the center of the large 2-4-foot-long sterile fronds. The fiddleheads of this species can be consumed when young and coiled and resemble asparagus in flavor. Requiring moist, but not saturated soils and filter sun, this species typically grows on the forested edges of wetlands and waterbodies.

https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=OSCI

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Maidenhair Fern

(Adiantum pedatum)

Conservation Practice: H, N

Soil: Moist-Well Drained

Growth Rate: Slow to Moderate

Description: Maidenhair fern has a unique spiral frond stem with leaflets growing off one side like several mini fronds of their own. This shape causes the fronds to sway in the wind like long hair. Growing in similar moist but well drained soils and filter sun this species will slowly form a nice dense patch.

https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=ADPE

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New York Fern

(Thelypteris noveboracensis)

Conservation Practice: H, N

Soil: Moist-Well Drained

Growth Rate: Moderate to Fast

Description: New York fern is a soft, 1-2 foot high fern that grows in dense patches typically coating the understories it inhabits in a vibrant green coating. The aggressive root sprouting of this fern can out compete other species and is recommended to be planted in a separate location with room to create a patch.

https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=THNO

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Ostrich Fern

(Matteuccia struthiopteris )

Conservation Practice: F, H, N

Soil: Moist not saturated

Growth Rate: Slow to Moderate

Description: The ostrich fern is the largest of the lot growing to 3 -5 feet in height with the large fronds resembling . . . you guessed it, an ostrich. This is the most common species used for fiddleheads, its edible young frond that surfaces in May. Only the new coiled fronds are edible and not all species’ fiddleheads are, so err on the side of caution.

 

https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=MAST