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7 Native Ferns and Their Benefits to the Environment

An Introduction to 7 Native Ferns and Their Benefits

 Ferns are a diverse and ancient group of plants that have existed for millions of years. They are found in almost every environment on earth, from deserts to rainforests. In addition to their beauty, ferns have several benefits, including their ability to filter pollutants from the air, stabilize soil, and provide habitat for various wildlife.

This article will discuss seven native ferns and their benefits and provide tips for growing and caring for ferns in your landscape.

  • Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum Pedatum).
  • Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis).
  • Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides).
  • Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda strum Cinnamomum).
  • Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis).
  • Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia Struthio Pteris).
  • Lady Fern (Athyrium filix-femina).

Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum Pedatum)

Maidenhair ferns are a popular choice for shady gardens and woodland landscapes. These delicate ferns have fronds that resemble lace and can grow up to 18 inches tall. They are native to eastern North America and can be found in woodlands, rocky slopes, and wetlands.

 

Benefits:

Maidenhair ferns are excellent at removing pollutants from the air, making them a great addition to urban gardens. They serve as a host plant for the rare Appalachian blue butterfly. In addition, maidenhair ferns have been used for medicinal purposes. They contain compounds that can reduce inflammation and promote healthy digestion.

Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis)

Royal ferns are a stunning addition to any landscape, with fronds that can grow up to six feet tall. They are native to wetlands and other areas with high moisture levels but can also be grown in well-drained soil with regular watering. Royal ferns are known for their large, showy fronds that turn a beautiful golden color in the fall.

 

Benefits:

Royal ferns have several benefits. They are excellent at stabilizing soil and preventing erosion, making them a great choice for slopes and other areas where erosion is a concern. They serve as a host plant for the rare Appalachian blue butterfly. In addition, royal ferns have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. They contain compounds that can help to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides):

Christmas ferns are hardy and easy to grow in woodlands and other shady areas throughout eastern North America. They are named for their evergreen fronds, which landscapes can be enhanced with color and texture year-round. Christmas ferns are also known for tolerating various growing conditions, from dry to wet soil.

 

Benefits:

Christmas ferns are excellent at stabilizing soil and preventing erosion, making them a great choice for slopes and other areas where erosion is a concern. They are also a host plant for a variety of butterflies and moths. In addition, Christmas ferns have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. They contain compounds that can help to reduce fever and relieve coughs.

Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda strum Cinnamomum):

Cinnamon ferns are a native fern species found in wetlands and other areas with high moisture levels. They are named for the cinnamon-colored hairs that cover the fronds as they emerge in the spring. Cinnamon ferns can grow up to five feet tall and add a dramatic element to any landscape.

 

Benefits:

Cinnamon ferns are excellent at removing air pollutants and can help improve air quality in urban areas. They are a host plant for butterflies and moths. They are host plants for butterflies and moths. They contain compounds that can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis):

Sensitive ferns are native fern species found in wetlands and other areas with high moisture levels. They are named for their sensitivity to frost, which can cause the fronds to wilt and die back. Sensitive ferns have a unique appearance, with deeply lobed and finely divided fronds.

 

Benefits:

Sensitive ferns have several benefits. They are excellent at stabilizing soil and preventing erosion, making them a great choice for slopes and other areas where erosion is a concern. They are also a host plant for a variety of butterflies and moths. In addition, sensitive ferns have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. They contain compounds that can help to reduce inflammation and promote healthy digestion.

Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia Struthio Pteris):

Ostrich ferns are a native fern species found in wetlands and other areas with high moisture levels. They are named for their large, feathery fronds that resemble the plumes of an ostrich. Ostrich ferns can grow up to six feet tall and add a bold and dramatic element to any landscape.

 

Benefits:

Ostrich ferns have several benefits. They are excellent at removing air pollutants and can help improve air quality in urban areas. They are also a host plant for a variety of butterflies and moths. In addition, ostrich ferns have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. They contain compounds that can help to reduce inflammation and promote healthy digestion.

Lady Fern (Athyrium filix-femina):

Lady ferns are a native fern species found in woodlands and other shady areas throughout North America. They are named for their delicate and lacy fronds, which can add a soft and graceful element to any landscape. Lady ferns are also known for tolerating various growing conditions, from dry to moist soil.

 

Benefits:

Lady ferns have several benefits. They are excellent at stabilizing soil and preventing erosion, making them a great choice for slopes and other areas where erosion is a concern. They are also a host plant for a variety of butterflies and moths. In addition, lady ferns have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. They contain compounds that can help to reduce inflammation and promote healthy digestion.

How To Grow and Care Native Ferns

Ferns are a beautiful and beneficial addition to any landscape. They can filter pollutants from the air, stabilize soil, and provide habitat for wildlife. To grow native ferns successfully, choosing a suitable location with well-draining soil and shaded is essential. Water regularly moistens the soil, especially during hot and dry periods.

And when it comes to caring for native ferns involves regular watering to keep the soil evenly moist, pruning dead or damaged fronds throughout the growing season, and applying a light application of fertilizer if necessary. Native ferns are generally resistant to pests and diseases, but watching for slugs, snails, and fungal diseases is crucial. Furthermore, during winter, most native ferns are cold-hardy and do not require special care. However, a layer of mulch can be applied to protect the roots from frost heave.

Growing and caring for native ferns is a relatively simple process. By following the guidelines mentioned above, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of native ferns in your landscape.

Final Remarks

Clearly, native ferns are an excellent addition to any landscape. They offer a range of benefits, from stabilizing soil and preventing erosion to improving air quality and providing habitat for wildlife. In addition, many native ferns have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries.

When choosing a native fern to add to your landscape, it's essential to consider the growing conditions of your site. Some ferns prefer moist soil and shade, while others can tolerate various conditions. By selecting the suitable fern for your site and providing it with the proper care, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of these remarkable plants for years to come.

 

Royal Fern - TN Nursery

Royal Fern

The Royal Fern is a large, striking fern with feathery fronds and a distinctive crown of fertile fronds. It is typically found in wetland habitats and is appreciated for its ornamental appeal in gardens. The Royal Fern is distinctive from other plants in the class because of its notable size. Specifically, this is one of the largest that grows outside of tropical zones in the United States. Also known as the osmunda regalis, the plant thrives in areas of the yard that are moist, including both shady and partially shady spots. Why should you include it in your landscaping plans? The Appearance Of Royal Fern The plant is appropriately named because it can grow up to six feet tall, and its size at maturity often makes it a solid focal point in yards. The fronds can be as comprehensive as 16 inches and feature up to nine pinna pairs, each with up to 13 pinnules. These qualities, combined with the healthy green color and the point shape of the fronts, add a rich texture to your yard that elevates aesthetics. The Wildlife Attraction and Tolerance Of Royal Fern While some wildlife is welcome in your yard, others can cause considerable damage and should be deterred. The potential damage from foragers like deer and rabbits is deterred as these animals do not use this plant for food. However, turtles, birds, and frogs, which generally do not cause damage, often seek shelter in their bushy leaves. Royal Fern is Pest Resistant While hungry insects often feed on various types of plants, it is well-known for repelling them. Specifically, the recognizable leaves have particular proteins that repel many kinds of insects. Any insects that do find their way to these plants often become food for the birds and other animals that live under the fronds for protection from the elements and their natural predators. When Royal Ferns are planted three feet apart, as recommended, there is little concern about them outgrowing their allocated space. The plants grow only a few inches yearly and do not need to be cut back to prevent overgrowth. As a result, it takes many years for the plant to reach its full size, and minimal care of this low-maintenance plant is required.

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Ostrich Fern - TN Nursery

Ostrich Fern

The Ostrich Fern is a large, deciduous fern with graceful, feathery fronds that resemble ostrich plumes. It is commonly found in moist woodland areas and is prized for its ornamental value. The plant is a magnificent and beneficial plant with several advantages in landscaping projects. The Tall and Lovely Ostrich Fern Ostrich Fern is an attractive dimorphic plant that gardeners use all year round to beautify their patches. In its nonfertile state, the plant grows to a height of 6 feet, the gorgeous fronds resembling plumes, hence the plant's name. In its fertile state, which occurs in the fall and early winter, it is much smaller. However, The shape is attractive, so it still provides pleasing shapes in a garden, even if that shape changes. The Different Phases of Ostrich Fern When nonfebrile, it is a rich, almost Kelly green, the arching fronds swooshing enticingly in the breeze. It contrasts with other blooming plants and serves as a color anchor in a garden of flowers. They're hardy, too, so you can plant them nearly anywhere to beautify a particular place. Although they aren't green and sweeping in the winter, they're still attractive as they survive the cold and snow while the perennials sleep until spring. First, Ostrich Fern's extensive root system is an excellent soil stabilizer, and the other plants in the garden will benefit thereby because its roots prevent erosion and nutrient loss in the soil. Second, they are a boon to various garden-dwelling wildlife. Several species of butterflies and beneficial insects rely on plants like it for shelter and as a place for egg laying and pupae maturation. Perhaps best of all, although fiddleheads are a delicacy for people when cooked, animals don't like their taste. So, you won't have to worry about rabbits, deer, and other woodland creatures venturing into the garden for a snack. The Serenity Of Ostrich Fern Feng shui practitioners rely on it to bring harmony to a dwelling and the adjacent garden. The way it morphs back into a verdant, thriving plant after being so much smaller throughout the winter also indicates a symbolism of new beginnings.

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