A deciduous fern which occurs in wet woods and thickets and in moist soils along streams and springs. It has long-stalked, deeply pinnatifid, bright green, vegetative (sterile) fronds (2-4′ long) with leathery, triangular leaflets (pinnae) which have distinctively netted veins. Shorter, erect, woody-like fertile fronds (to 12″ tall), whose ultimate divisions are bead-like segments, typically brown up in late summer and persist throughout the remaining season and winter. Commonly called sensitive fern because the green vegetative fronds are sensitive to and suffer almost immediate damage from the first fall frost. Also sensitive to drought.
Pronunciation: on-oh-KLEE-uh sen-si-BIL-iss
Species Meaning: Sensitive
Onoclea sensibilis is native to Eastern North America.
Although native to swampy and marshy areas, it grows quite well in average garden soil as long as soil is not allowed to dry out. Usually grows taller in wet soils which it tolerates well. Spreads by both creeping rhizomes and spores, and can be somewhat aggressive in optimum growing conditions.
Has been munched by deer.
Divide from creeping rhizomes.
In Our Garden
Plant ID: P21226
One is planted close to the wall separating the garden of the giants and the woodland area next door.
One is planted under the divider between Face Corner – the Fuchsia part of it and the Fairy garden.
We acquired this plant from Daryll's Nursery, Monmouth.