Plant Details

Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica

Ostrich Fern

Scientific Name:

Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica

Common Name:

Ostrich Fern

Plant Family

Onocleaceae (Sensitive Fern Family)


US Native



Habitat Description:

Alluvial forests and calcareous wetlands (Weakley 2015). Native from VA north and west; not native in NC.

State Rank:

No NC Rank Listed (*)

Global Rank:

No Global Rank listed (*)

State Status:

No NC Status Listed (*)

Federal Status:

No U.S. Status Listed (*)


"The sterile fronds of ostrich fern are 2-8 ft. tall, once-pinnate, tapered at both base and apex, brown-stemmed, and slightly scaly. Fertile fronds are shorter, with edges of pinnae turned in to form a beaded plume persistent through winter. The rootstock is creeping, producing urn-like clusters of fronds." Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center

Not native to NC.

Fertile Fronds in Winter


December 2004
© Tom Harville


USDA PLANTS Database Record

Bird-Friendly Native Plants

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