Saxapahaw, NC

The Flower of Carolina


  • Product Info

    Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis)
    Onoclea Fern Family
    Sensitive fern is a deciduous, spreading fern with eye-catching fertile and infertile fronds. Infertile fronds are a pale green, rather large, and deeply pinnate. Fertile fronds are formed later in the season with leaflets that  look like little beads. What you’re seeing is tiny leaflets curled up tight covering a clump of spores. The fertile fronds start out green and gradually turn brown, persisting through winter as an attractive structure. Sensitive fern is usually found in damp areas, but can be planted in average garden soil in light shade. It will tolerate more sun if consistently moist. It can be an aggressive spreader in the right conditions.
    Leaves: Light-medium green, deeply pinnate, fertile fronds are dark brown and bead-like
    Height: 1-3’
    Space: 1-2’
    Soil: Moist-wet
    Exposure:  Part-light shade
    Fauna: Low wildlife value, may provide cover to small animals
    Seeds: Fertile fronds persist through winter and are very attractive
    Deer Resistance: High
    Zone: 2-10
    Native Status: NC Native, common throughout the state
    Provenance: North Carolina ecotype, asexually propagated