Onoclea sensibilis 

(o-no' clee-ah sen-sib' ill-iss)

Common name: Sensitive Fern, Bead Fern

Family: Dryopteridaceae

Height x width: 1-2' x 2-3'

Growth rate: moderate

Fronds: dimorphic (2 types): fertile stalks to 12" of bead-like sori hence one common name; sterile green fronds broadly ovate-triangular and pinnatedly divided into 8-12 pairs of pinnae to 3" wide; deciduous in the North; pale red spring fiddleheads

Sori: clustered like beads or grapes on the upright fertile fronds

Hardiness: zones 3-8

Soil: most, prefers moist

Light: shade, will tolerate sun if sufficient moisture

Pests and Problems: none serious

Landscape habit, uses: natural gardens, woodlands, shade groundcover; coarse textured fern from broader leaves and pinnae than most other ferns

Other interest: native to eastern N. America and eastern Asia, naturlized in western Europe; common name from fact early settlers noted it was very sensitive to frost; spreads to form colonies to point often of becoming weedy if not sited properly

Other culture: low maintenance

Propagation: spring division, spores

Cultivars: none, found only as the species

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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