Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern)

Typically growing in forests, this fiddlehead-producing fern is extremely tolerate of shade and moist soils. It has few pest and insect issues, making it a fairly ideal garden plant. It produces lovely foliage from a rosette and can reproduce (albeit slowly) by spreading rhizomes.

Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern)
Deciduous: yes (goes into dormancy during winter)
Hardiness Zones: 3-7
Height: 3-6 feet
Diameter: 5-8 feet
Growth Rate: moderate to fast
Age: perennial
Root System: deep, extensive
Family: Onocleaceae
Subspecies: ‘Jumbo’ (much larger, fronds grow up to 7 feet tall), ‘The King’ (may be synonymous with ‘Jumbo’)

Tolerates: rabbits, deer, erosion
Problems (major): no major insect or pest issues
Problems (minor): hot and humid conditions can majorly damage a fern
Poisonous: presumably no (although some ferns contain carcinogens)

Soil requirements: clay and wet soils
Air Requirements: prefers moist, cooler temperatures
Watering requirement: medium to water
Sun requirement: light shade to heavy shade

Fiddleheads present: yes
Compound fronds: yes
Aerial: no
Rosette: yes
Tree Fern: no
Blade length: Sterile fronds (which start out as “fiddleheads”) grow up to 4 feet long; dark brown, fertile fronds produce spores and grow up to 2 feet long.
Rhizome length: rhizomes can send up new fronds every few feet

Notable characteristics:
This fern grows particularly well in heavily shaded, moist areas. These typically grow in forests with high annual rainfall

Uses:
The “fiddleheads” are sometimes cooked and eaten in salads or independently. Frequently used as ornamentals or specimen plants for their attractive foliage.

Sources used:

Matteuccia_struthiopteris_6 A bunch of emerging fiddleheads (photo uploaded in May 2005)

Matteuccia_struthiopteris_1 Several ostrich ferns growing at the University of Helsinki botanical garden.

Matteuccia_struthiopteris_2 A long frond (photo taken in Osaka-fu Japan)

Matteuccia_struthiopteris_3 Fertile fronds  in spring, photo by Carsten Niehaus in April 2005.

Matteuccia_struthiopteris_4 Several ostrich ferns growing near a small stream (picture uploaded 1 August 2008)

Matteuccia_struthiopteris_5 Many ostrich ferns growing along another stream (picture uploaded 16 July 2011)

I do not own the rights of these images; all credit goes to its original creator(s).

Matteuccia_struthiopteris_image_sources

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Plant Analysis

One response to “Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern)

  1. Pingback: acheter ds

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s