Onoclea sensibilis

Onoclea sensibilis


Onoclea sensibilis, commonly called sensitive fern, is a large, somewhat coarse, deciduous fern which occurs statewide in wet woods and thickets and in moist soils along streams and springs. Features long-stalked, deeply pinnatifid, bright green, vegetative fronds with leathery, triangular leaflets which have distinctively netted veins. Shorter, erect, woody-like fertile fronds (to 12" tall), whose ultimate divisions are bead-like segments, typically brown up in late summer and persist throughout the remaining season and winter. Also sensitive to drought.



Best grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Needs consistent moisture. Although native to swampy and marshy areas, it grows quite well in average garden soil as long as soil is not allowed to dry out. Usually grows taller in wet soils which it tolerates well. Spreads by both creeping rhizomes and spores, and can be somewhat aggressive in optimum growing conditions.


Type: Fern

Family: Onocleaceae

Native Range: Eastern North America

Zone: 4 to 8

Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet

Spread: 3.00 to 4.00 feet

Bloom Time: Non-flowering

Bloom Description: Non-flowering

Sun: Part shade to full shade

Water: Medium to wet

Maintenance: Medium

Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden

Tolerate: Rabbit, Heavy Shade, Clay Soil, Wet Soil, Black Walnut

  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram


(267) 571-5750