Matteuccia struthiopteris, Ostrich Fern

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Native mostly in the northern half of the Mid-Atlantic Region,* Ostrich Fern is indigenous in only three places in Virginia, including along the Potomac River in Arlington and Fairfax counties. It requires a large landscape to show off to full advantage its long, finely dissected fronds, suggestive of ostrich plumes.

Print Version: Matteuccia struthiopteris

Matteuccia struthiopteris

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

Tags: Athyrium nipponicum – Japanese Painted Fern, It is native to Arlington and Fairfax counties, DC, northern and western MD, and much of PA. It is adventive (non-native; an escape from cultivation into natural areas) Hardiness: USDA Zones 3-7 in the DE Piedmont. Use as dramatic accent in large woodland gardens or wet areas with room to spread, Fiddleheads are harvested in early spring and sold as gourmet food in parts of New England, Provides protective cover for wildlife, No serious pests or diseases, Tolerates clay soil, dense shade, erosion, rabbits, Spreads by underground rhizomes, vigorously under favorable conditions, to form large colonies, Green fertile fronds emerge in summer, maturing to dark brown, erect and 1 1/2 feet tall; they can persist for a year & release spores in early spring, Fiddleheads emerge in spring, unfurling to medium green, finely divided, arching, 5 feet tall, sterile fronds, which die back in the fall, Deciduous perennial in upright & arching clumps, Non-flowering