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Matteuccia struthiopteris AGM

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© RHS 2001

Characteristics

Plant type

Fern

Habit

Suckering

Resilience

Hardiness

H4 (hardy - average winter)

Colour

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring and Summer

Size

Ultimate height

1-1.5 metres

Ultimate spread

1.5-2.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

5-10 years


Preferred common name

shuttlecock fern

Family

Onocleaceae


Matteuccia are rhizomatous deciduous ferns, sometimes with stolons, forming shuttlecock-like rosettes of erect or spreading, pinnately divided fronds, with smaller, erect, bead-like fertile fronds

M. struthiopteris is a deciduous, stoloniferous fern forming colonies of erect rosettes to 1.5m in height, with lance-shaped, bright green, bipinnatifid sterile fronds surrounding shorter, brownish fertile fronds

Other common names

  • ostrich fern
  • ostrich-feather fern

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Part shade
  • Full shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, North-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Easy to grow in most cool, moist, shaded sites and useful for very wet sites

Soil

  • Moist but well-drained
  • Acid or Neutral
  • Clay, Loam or Sand

Propagation

Propagate by sowing spores as soon as ripe or by division in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Low Maintenance or Underplanting of Roses and Shrubs


How to care

Pruning

Dead or damaged fronds may be removed as necessary

Pests

Generally pest free outdoors

Diseases

Generally disease free outdoors