Plant of the Week

Matteuccia struthiopteris

It is the time of the year when the shuttlecock fern fronds are uncoiling from the crown of its dormant self. The emerging fiddleheads create a ring coming out of the ground to resemble a shuttlecock, giving it its name. For me, it doesn’t evoke images of badminton but gives a glimpse into a prehistoric time when ferns ruled the plant kingdom.

 This deciduous fern spreads through rhizomes that if left can create established populations. With its tolerance of damp shade it suits a woodland garden or a damp bed well. Once the fronds emerge, they expand to an eventual height of a meter or more and stand quite vertically, giving a soft yet architectural dimension to a border.

Words by Sam, photographs by Hannah

One thought on “Plant of the Week

  1. I love the way these ferns unfurl in the spring. They are such a vibrant green especially when the sun shines through them. We have loads coming up in the Nuttery at Sissinghurst. I expect Gravetye is looking lovely. Helen (gardener)

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