Go Back Fern Ostrich

Matteuccia struthiopteris
Deer Resistant Icon

Plant Type: Perennials

One of the largest and most popular ferns in cultivation today. The dark green, pinnate fronds are shaped like ostrich plumes, being much wider at the top and tapering down to a bare stipe.  The first set of leaves is sterile and has a gracefully arching form.  These leaves can reach heights of 6 feet in ideal environments.  This set of leaves dies back by early to midsummer and is replaced by a set of fertile, dark green leaves which are about half the height of the sterile ones.  These leaves turn a shiny greenish bronze in fall, becoming brown in winter.  They remain standing all winter long.  Spreads rapidly by underground runners.  Needs moist soil.

Currently not available for online purchase.

Growing & Maintenance Tips:

Native to marshy areas and creek beds, Ostrich ferns prefer to be grown in moist, humus-rich soil with a neutral pH. If planted in cool, moist locations, they will tolerate full sun. In general, however, they prefer open shade.  Plenty of space is necessary to grow since they are rapid spreaders that grow by underground runners.  They extend out in all directions, quickly forming colonies.

Flower Color

Foliage Color

Dark green

Plant Spread

3-4 ft.

Good Companions

Barrenwort-Bicolor (Epimedium x versicolor), Foamflower (Tiarella ), Goat's Beard (Aruncus dioicus), Hosta (Hosta ), Phlox-Woodland (Phlox divaricata laphamii), Rodger's Flower-Featherleaf (Rodgersia pinnata), Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)

Plant Height

3-6 ft.

Scape Height

Hardness Zone


Soil Moisture

Average and consistent water needs

Characteristics & Attributes


Ground cover, Border, Cut flower or foliage, Bog plant

Bloom Time

Critter Resistance

Deer and rabbit resistant


Full sun to part shade, Full shade

Growth Rate


Seasonal Interests

Attractive foliage all season long!