Fern – Ostrich


Native plant well-known for its easy care, and edible fiddleheads

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This showy/stately fern is well-known for its easy care, and edible fiddleheads. It can withstand more sunlight than most ferns (given there is enough water) and the occasional summer drought once established. Fertile fronds provide winter interest. It spreads by thick rhizomes and can colonize a large area in a couple years, so do not interplant timid perennials with it. Works for foundation plantings, on cool north walls, low spots of poorer drainage or around natural or man-made water courses.

Best grown in native woodland setting with soil with lots of well-composted organic matter. This fern is adaptable, but consisent moisture and partial shade will keep it looking fresh all summer. Shelter from wind or leaves get ratty. Mix in compost and peat moss on lighter soils, and cultivate compacted soils before planting. Plant at crown height and mulch 2″ deep. Water well during the first year of establishment and during hot spells. Maintenance of established patches may include trimming of old foliage (makes great mulch in-place) and containing rhizomes from nearby plantings. Zone 3

Light shade to full shade
Height: 90-120 cm(36-48″)
Diameter: 60-90 cm(24-36″)