Fern, Sensitive (Onoclea Sensibilis)


Onoclea sensibilis is native to the Russian Far East,  China and Eastern Asia, and has a wide native distribution in Northern America.  The susceptibility to frost of the sterile fronds gives sensitive fern its name.

Onoclea sensibilis dwells in a variety of wet swamp and wood habitats: wet meadows, thickets and bogs, as well as stream and riverbanks and roadside ditches. It ranges from Newfoundland south to Florida and west to Texas, the Rocky Mountains, North Dakota, Quebec, and Manitoba. It is also native to East Asia, and has become naturalized in western Europe.

It grows best in a shaded or partially shaded area in a moist soil. The plant can tolerate dryer conditions in shade, and will tolerate wet soils and so occurs in soggy ground or at the very edge of water in shade or sun. Sensitive ferns spread to form colonies and are often the first species to inhabit disturbed areas. They can become weedy if not sited properly.

The spores are not released until the spring following the season in which the fertile fronds are produced