Product DescriptionMatteuccia struthiopteris
a/k/a Ostrich fern
Zone 3 to 7, Full sun to full shade
Plants reach 3 to 6 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. A native species, Ostrich is one of the largest and most popular ferns in cultivation today. The dark green, pinnate fronds are shaped like ostrich plumes, being much wider at the top and tapering down to a bare stipe.
The first set of leaves is sterile and has a gracefully arching form. These leaves can reach heights of 6 feet in ideal environments. This set of leaves dies back by early to midsummer and is replaced by a set of fertile, dark green leaves which are about half the height of the sterile ones. These leaves turn a shiny greenish bronze in fall, becoming brown in winter. They remain standing all winter long.
Native to marshy areas and creek beds, Ostrich ferns prefer to be grown in moist, humus-rich soil with a neutral pH. If planted in cool, moist locations, they will tolerate full sun. In general, however, they prefer open shade.
Ostrich ferns need plenty of space to grow since they are rapid spreaders. They spread by dense underground runners which extend out in all directions, quickly forming colonies. Use as a bog plant, border plants, or ground cover. Foliage is a big filler for flower arrangements.
Mature field grown plant shipped bare root.