2-3 Litre Pot
- RHS Award of Garden Merit
- Position: Full shade, partial shade
- Soil: Moist, well drained
- Growth Rate: Average
- Hardiness: H5
- Eventual Height: 1 – 1.5m
- Eventual Spread: 1.5 – 2.5m
Matteuccia Struthiopteris, commonly known as the ‘Shuttlecock Fern’ and holder of the prestigious RHS Award of Garden Merit, is a large, deciduous fern that is native to North America, Europe, and Asia. The plant gets its name from its fronds, which resemble the feathers of an ostrich.
The Ostrich Fern typically grows to be between 1 – 1.5 metres tall, with a spread of about 2.5 metres. It prefers to grow in shady, moist areas, such as woodland and along stream banks. The plant has a thick, underground stem called a rhizome, which allows it to spread and form large colonies.
The fronds of this fern are the most distinctive feature of the plant. They are tall and feathery, with a deep green colour and a lacy texture. The fronds can grow up to 1.5 metres in length and are arranged in a vase-like shape. In the Spring, the fern produces fiddleheads, which are tightly coiled young fronds that emerge from the ground. Ostrich ferns are hardy and can withstand cold temperatures, making them a popular choice for landscaping in northern climates. They are also useful in erosion control, as their deep roots help to stabilise soil along stream banks and hillsides.
Overall, Matteuccia Struthiopteris is a beautiful and useful plant that is well-suited to shady, moist environments. Its unique fronds and ability to form large colonies make it a popular choice for landscaping and erosion control, as well as a tasty treat for those who enjoy foraging for wild foods.
Looking After Your Matteuccia Struthiopteris
Generally pest and disease free, this robust fern is both moisture and shade loving, although can tolerate sunnier aspects when kept well watered. Late Autumn remove any dead or damaged fronds and provide a good mulch of well rotted garden compost. Early Spring is an ideal time to propagate by division or re-locate to a new site, at the same time feeding with a sprinkling of bone meal or a good quality general purpose fertiliser.