Native Plant Database

Header Photo: Mervin Wallace

Sensitive Fern

Onoclea sensibilis
Plant Type: Ferns
Native Environment: Wetland, Stream Edge
Season of Interest: Mid (May - June), Late (July - frost)
Main Color: Green
Fall Color:
Hardy From Zone: 3
Hardy To Zone: 8

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Hardiness Zones

Midwest map of zones 5 (north), 6, and 7 (south)

as defined by the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map; (hardiness zones are not recorded for all Grow Native! plants)
Sun Exposure 
Full Sun, Medium Sun/Average Shade
Soil
Moisture
Moderate, High
Nature Attracting
Wildlife Benefit
Animal
Resistance
Size

Height:

12 to
36
inches

Spread:

24 to
36
inches
Size
Height: 12 to
36
inches
Spread: 24 to
36
inches
Size
Height: 12 to
36
inches
Spread: 24 to
36
inches
Typical Landscape Use
Nice to mix with evergreen ferns such as the Christmas fern, to 'hide' them once they've died back/gone dormant.
Establishment and Care Instructions
This fern grows well in moist, humus rich, bog-like areas. Will grow in full sun with adequate moisture.
Special Features
Special Usage
Ground Cover, Fresh Cut Flower
Basic Description

The name refers to the fact that this fern typically dies back after the first frost. An interesting fern with a broad, triangular overall leaf shape and deeply cut, wavy margins that are smooth (not toothed). The leaf stem is winged and the fronds are upright to arched in habit.

Where Should I Start?

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Where Can I Find This Plant in Nature?

Learn about the Native Environment(s) inhabited by the plants in this database.

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