homebanner homebanner homebanner homebanner homebanner homebanner
Matteuccia struthiopteris - (L.)Tod.
                 
Common Name Ostrich Fern
Family Polypodiaceae
USDA hardiness 2-7
Known Hazards Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[200]. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase[172].
Habitats Light shade on rocky stream banks, forming extensive colonies[187]. Wooded ravines in Turkey, 650 - 1200 metres[93].
Range N. Temperate zone. Occasionally naturalized in Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade

Summary
Form: Irregular or sprawling.

Matteuccia struthiopteris Ostrich Fern


Robert H. Mohlenbrock @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA NRCS. 1995. Northeast wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species. Northeast National Technical Center, Chester.
Matteuccia struthiopteris Ostrich Fern
USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA NRCS. Wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide to plant species. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of fern
Matteuccia struthiopteris is a FERN growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms
Onoclea germanica. Pterinodes struthiopteris. Struthiopteris germanica.

Habitats
Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses:

Young fronds - raw or cooked[62, 102, 116, 172]. Used before they fully unroll, they are thick and succulent[183]. Sometimes sold in speciality markets, the flavour can be compared to asparagus[200]. Another report says that they are a famine food that is only used in times of need in China[177]. Rootstock - peeled and roasted[106, 172, 183].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Birthing aid;  Miscellany.

A decoction of the leaf stalk base from sterile fronds has been taken in the treatment of back pain and also to help speed up the expulsion of the afterbirth[257].
Other Uses
Miscellany.

Plants make a good ground cover[200] when spaced about 60cm apart each way[208]. They spread slowly and the fronds tend to die off earlier in the autumn than most ferns[208].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Specimen, Woodland garden. Requires a moist but well-drained position and light shade[1, 187]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Dislikes full sun, the leaves turning yellow and burning in such a situation[200]. Prefers a pH between 5 and 6.5[200]. Dormant plants are hardy to at least -20°c[200]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233]. A very ornamental plant[1], it establishes rapidly[187]. It has a short rhizome but produces long stolons, by which it spreads rapidly once established[187], and it can be invasive[200]. Fertile fronds are produced after the first flush of vegetative fronds and persist throughout the following winter. The spores are shed in mid-winter[200]. Grown commercially for its decorative fronds[106]. These fronds are also available as a food from speciality markets[183, 200]. Plants can be forced in the winter to provide an early supply of the young shoots[183]. Special Features:Attractive foliage, North American native, Invasive, There are no flowers or blooms.
Propagation
Spores - surface sow as soon as they are ripe in mid-winter and keep the soil moist. It is best to keep the pot in a sealed plastic bag to hold in the moisture. Pot up small clumps of the young plants as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in light shade until large enough to plant out. Division during the dormant season between October and March[1]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Books by Plants For A Future

Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

      You can download this page as a PDF

Due to a fault in the PDF printer we are trying a few different options. Please try the one below

 

Print Friendly and PDF
Expert comment
 
Author
(L.)Tod.
Botanical References
93200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
feliz Mon Jan 30 2006
its so cool

ostrich fern

Elizabeth H.
david n Wed Apr 8 2009
The Oxford Companion to Food describes the fiddleheads as a "wild delicacy"
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.
Add a comment/link

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Matteuccia struthiopteris  

Plant Uses

Edible Uses
Medicinal Uses
Other Plant uses
Woodland Gardening
Why Perennial Plants?
Top Edible Plants
Top Medicinal Plants
Garden Design
Habitats
Translations

Twiter      Facebook

Content

Content Help
Bookshop
Support Us
Blog
Links
Old Database Search
Suppliers
Contact
About Us
News
Sign In

PFAF Newsletter

Stay informed about PFAFs progress,
challenges and hopes by signing up for
our free email ePost. You will receive
a range of benefits including:
* Important announcements and news
* Exclusive content not on the website
* Updates on new information &
functionality of the website & database

We will not sell or share your email address.
You can unsubscribe at anytime.