Matteuccia struthiopteris (L.) Tod. - Ostrich Fern


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Matteuccia struthiopteris - (image 1 of 4)



Family: Dryopteridaceae


Moist woodlands, either on slopes or floodplains. Calcareous soils. Swamps.




Most of Canada south into the U.S. from VA to MO, NE.


Sori marginal; indusium more or less formed by the revolute margin of the frond or it's segments. Plants with large fronds, to 2 meters high. Sterile and fertile frond very dissimilar, the sterile fronds pinnate-pinnatifid. Rhizomes erect, to 9 cm diameter. Sterile stipes to 25 cm long, blackish to reddish brown at the base.



Flowers NA

Wetland indicator: Facultative wetland

A large and graceful fern that is commonly cultivated. The common name is derived from the resemblance of the fronds to an ostrich's plume.

I have references that place this species in the following families: Onocleaceae, Polypodiaceae, Woodsiaceae, and Dryopteridaceae.


Cobb, B. 1984. A Field Guide to Ferns and Their Related Families.
Houghton Mifflin Co., New York, NY


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




 Michael Hough 2005