Some of our loveliest native plants are ferns. We have almost 20 species native to Illinois and we’re very excited to offer some in the nursery. Ferns add a particular grace to shade gardens or woodland areas and blend well with wildflowers and sedges.
Northern Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum)
One of the loveliest of the native ferns, Northern Maidenhair Fern can reach up to two feet high and wide. Its wiry black stems allow the foliage to almost float, providing a delicate texture for the shade. This fern prefers moist, rich soils and is deer resistant.
Marginal Shield Fern (Dryopteris marginalis)
Reaching about two and a half to three feet high, Marginal Shield Fern is evergreen. Its bright green fronds do best in average to moist soils with good drainage and protection from wind. An erect foliage forms an elegant vase shape.
Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris)
A tall, upright, vase-shaped plant, Ostrich Fern reaches around four feet high in ideal conditions and can spread aggressively. In spring, its tightly furled fiddleheads may be harvested and enjoyed while its feathery fronds punctuate the garden during the season. Ostrich Fern does best in moist to average soils and is very adaptable.
Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis)
The only member of an ancient genus, Sensitive Fern forms loose clusters of open fronds and reaches about a foot high. It is named after its sensitivity to frosts in the fall. Sensitive Fern thrives in wet to moist soils, rich in organic material and protected from wind.
Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)
Christmas Fern features leathery deep green fronds about two feet high that form large clumps. An evergreen fern, it does best in average to dry soils that are high in organic matter and well-drained. The common name refers to the practice of gathering fronds at Christmas time for decoration.
Ready to try a fern? Contact Mandy at email@example.com or 815.981.8000 to order. Check out our availability to see all of our available native ferns!