Dennstaedtia punctilobula, Hay-Scented Fern

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

This native of open woods and dry slopes is found throughout most of the Mid-Atlantic Region. In Virginia, it is abundant in higher elevations to infrequent in the Coastal Plain. It can spread quickly to create a ground cover in shady woodland gardens. Crush some leaflets and its common name becomes apparent from the hay-like scent that emanates.

Print Version: Dennstaedtia punctilobula, Hay-Scented FernDennstaedtia Punctilobula

Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets

Tags: Non-flowering, Fiddleheads, Frond with Syrphid Fly, Colony, Deciduous perennial with arching or erect fronds, Lacy triangular bi- or tri-pinnate yellow-green
foliage with a soft, hairy surface, Fronds measure up to one foot wide, Spores ripen in cup-like structures on marginal undersurface of fronds from July to October, Tolerates sun (with sufficient soil moisture), dense shade, and rabbits; no serious pests or diseases; deer rarely damage, Low maintenance and adaptable, Aromatic when leaves are brushed/crushed, Provides cover for wildlife,  Soil Requirements: Loamy acidic soil, Water Requirements: Dry, Moist, Light Requirements: Partial Shade, Shade, Use in large woodland gardens where it will have room to spread and not overtake other plants, Hardiness: USDA Zones 3-8, Hedera helix – English Ivy, Liriope spicata – Creeping Lily-Turf, Vinca minor – Periwinkle