Virginia Chainfern, as its common name implies, is not a flowering plant, but a fern, which reproduces by spores. The leathery, evergreen fronds feature deeply-cut leaflets. It spreads aggressively in ideal conditions of wet acidic soils. Plant Virginia Chainfern in your rain garden or moist naturalized areas of the yard.
Christmas Fern is a clumping evergreen fern. It displays leathery, lance-shaped fronds. Emerging fiddleheads are silver in the spring. Christmas Fern does not spread; instead, the clump will increase in size as the plant ages. Christmas Fern has been known to attract ruffed grouse. Use it as a groundcover or in borders. It adds winter interest to your yard.
Royal Fern is a clumping deciduous fern. Its broad, green fronds turn yellow in fall. Fertile brown clusters atop the fronds hold the spores. Royal Fern is an important host plant for moth larvae (caterpillars), including Osmunda Borer Moth (Papaipema speciosissima). Plant it along a water’s edge or in your shade garden, woodland garden, rain garden, and moist, shady areas of your yard.
Cinnamon Fern is a clumping deciduous fern. The fronds emerge as fiddleheads. Birds use the “fuzz” covering the fiddleheads as nesting material. Green, sterile fronds bend outward, encircling fertile, erect, spore-bearing fronds, which quickly turn chestnut-brown, giving this plant its common name. Cinnamon Fern makes an attractive accent in landscapes. Use it along the water’s edge and in woodland gardens, rain gardens, swales, or any moist, shady areas of the yard.
Spinulose Woodfern’s lacy, finely toothed fronds are bright green and may remain green during mild winters. It prefers moist, organically rich soils, and should be protected from drying winds. Use in mass plantings in woodland gardens or as an accent plant in shady garden beds. This fern species may be difficult to find commercially. Tell your local garden center or nursery about your interest in this plant.
Marginal Woodfern is an evergreen fern. Its dark green, leathery fronds provide year-round ornamental interest to the yard. Marginal Woodfern grows in a non-spreading clump. This plant will tolerate dry conditions once established. It should be protected from wind and direct sun. Use it as an accent plant, or plant in masses in shady or woodland gardens.
Crested Woodfern is an evergreen fern. The tall, fertile fronds die back in the winter, but the infertile fronds stay green throughout the winter months. Recommended for wet, shady sites, where other plants may not thrive. Use it in woodland or shady gardens.
Eastern Hayscented Fern is a deciduous fern with light-green, finely textured, lacy fronds. The fronds can be cut for use in flower arrangements. When crushed or dried, the fronds release a fragrance like freshly-mowed hay, inspiring its common name. This plant prefers moist, acidic, organically rich soils. It spreads by rhizomes to form colonies, making it useful as a groundcover in shady areas of the yard. Use it in woodland gardens, shade gardens, or under trees. The fronds can be used in cut-flower bouquets.
Lady Fern is a deciduous fern with light-green, lace-like fronds that grow in a circular clump. It is relatively easy to grow. While it prefers part shade and moist, organic soils, it is more tolerant of sun and dry soils than most other ferns. Use Lady Fern massed in shade gardens, woodland gardens, or along ponds or streams.
Northern Maidenhair is a fine-textured deciduous fern. Pink fiddleheads emerge in spring, turning green as they mature. Northern Maidenhair is a good plant for moist, shady sites. This attractive fern combines well with other perennials in shade, woodland, or rock gardens, and makes an excellent edging plant along shady pathways.