Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Sensitive Fern
Give a thumbs up Bead fern
Give a thumbs up Sympathy fern
Give a thumbs up Onoclea

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Fern
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Full Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 12 - 48 inches
Plant Spread: 6 - 18 inches
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Deciduous
Underground structures: Rhizome
Suitable Locations: Bog gardening
Uses: Groundcover
Water gardens
Will Naturalize
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Flood Resistant
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Other: Divide creeping rhizomes
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
Image

Photo gallery:
Location: My garden, Gent, BelgiumDate: 2013-05-20
By bonitin
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2014-05-05brown dry fertile fronds beadlike enclosing sori
By ILPARW
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Location: Newtown Square, PennsylvaniaDate: 2012-06-20planted at house foundation
By ILPARW
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Location: Natural Area in Northeastern IndianaDate: 2011-10-06Immature fruiting structure
By chelle
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Location: my garden, Gent, BelgiumDate: 2009-04-26Young fronds are a beautiful light spring green..
By bonitin
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Location: Riverview, Robson, B.C.Date: 2007-05-26 5:09 pm. The leaves contrast nicely with the Hostas.
By HemNorth
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Location: Riverview, Robson, B.C.Date: 2008-06-15 5:43 pm. By August, the leaves have a matte finish to them.
By HemNorth
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2014-05-12colony in front yard
By ILPARW
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Location: Natural Area in Northeastern IndianaDate: 2010-07-08Sterile fronds
By chelle
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Location: my garden, Gent, BelgiumDate: 2010-05-17unfolding frond..
By bonitin
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Location: z6a MA, my gardenDate: 2013-07-31
By eclayne
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Courtesy Crownsville Nursery
By vic
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Location: My garden in Gent, BelgiumDate: 2013-05-20
By bonitin
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Photo Courtesy of Lazy S'S Farm Nursery.
By Joy
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Location: Riverview, Robson, B.C.Date: 2009-05-10 6:08 pm.Young fresh leaves are shiny.
By HemNorth
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2016-05-30group in landscape border
By ILPARW
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Location: Yellow Springs, PennsylvaniaDate: 2017-05-14in marsh around gazebo in full sun
By ILPARW
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Location: Natural Area in Northeastern Indiana - Zone 5 Date: 2011-10-06Fertile frond - fruiting structure - unopened
By chelle
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Photo Courtesy of Homestead Farms Nursery. Used with Permission.
By Joy
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Courtesy Crownsville Nursery
By vic
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Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
By admin
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Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
By admin
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Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
By admin
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Photo Courtesy of Prairie Nursery. Used with Permission
By Joy
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Photo Courtesy of Prairie Nursery. Used with Permission
By Joy
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Photo Courtesy of Lazy S'S Farm Nursery.
By Joy
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Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Sep 24, 2018 8:45 AM

Sensitive Fern is gets its common name because it is sensitive to the first frost, drought, and the leaves rapidly wilt if picked. Its native range is in southeast Canada from Newfoundland to Manitoba down to eastern Texas to northern Florida back up through New England, growing wild in swamps, marshes, and bottomlands. It usually gets about 1.5 to 2 feet high, but can get to 4 feet high. Its sterile fronds are coarse, triangular in shaped, and simple pinnatifid and about 1.5 to 4 feet long. Its separate fertile fronds come up from the ground and are short, to about 1 foot high, erect, woody-like that brown up in late summer and remain until spring. It spreads quickly by rhizomes (underground stems) to form a colony or mass. I have seen this species growing in full sun and doing well where the soil is always wet; otherwise, it should have part-shade to full shade in rich, moist soil. It is occasionally planted in landscapes, but not commonly. It is offered by a good number of native plant nurseries and some larger, diverse conventional nurseries.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Found among my ferns by Tekla Sep 26, 2018 7:47 AM 12
Fern ID New York Forest by Araceae May 11, 2018 2:00 AM 1
2018 Spring/Summer Planned Acquisitions by RickM May 10, 2018 11:06 AM 85
Fern by m33jones2 Sep 19, 2017 5:49 PM 10
Weed coming through other plants by pirl Jul 2, 2014 8:22 PM 5
List incomplete on Multi-Plant picture by bonitin Dec 26, 2013 5:12 PM 31
A few plants - Maine forest and boggy coastal area by kuklachica Apr 21, 2018 10:49 AM 10
Unknown fern by eclayne Jul 26, 2012 3:30 PM 5

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