Dennstaedtia punctilobula

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Common Name: Hay-scented Fern

1½-2 feet tall by 2-3 feet spread. Part sun to light shade but tolerates heavy shade; prefers medium moisture but tolerates moderately dry and moderately wet moisture levels; prefers rich, humusy soil but tolerates a wide range of soils including poor rocky, sandy loam or clay; moderately to slightly acid pH.

Maintenance: Medium

Growth/Colonizing Habit: Spreads rapidly and aggressively by rhizomes to form colonies. Makes a good groundcover.

Foliage: Deciduous

Native Region: East Tennessee

Large fern with soft, hairy fronds that are as much as a foot wide. Good choice for rapid naturalizing but probably not desirable for the perennial border garden due to its aggressiveness. In hot summer climates, fronds tend to decline by late summer. Crushed fronds have a sweet hay fragrance, hence the common name. Occurs naturally in open woods, wooded banks, shady places and on damp slopes.

Hay-scented Fern - Dennstaedtia punctilobula 2
Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia
Hay-scented Fern - Dennstaedtia punctilobula
Photo Courtesy of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center