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Rattlesnake Fern Botrychium virginianum

Previously known as:

  • Botrypus virginianus
Phonetic Spelling
bo-TRIH-chee-um ver-jin-ee-AH-num
Description

Rattlesnake Fern is a deciduous fern that is found in a wide variety climates: dry, mesic, and wet forests, coves, and most often in moist bottomlands and slopes with nutrient-rich soils. This plant prefers moist, rich woods and shade. It is one of first ferns to begin growth in spring. It has subterranean rhizomes and horizontal, coarse, shallow roots. It produces distinctive spores that rise at the conjunction of the leaves. This plant is difficult to cultivate. 

VIDEO Created by NC State Extension's Homegrown series featuring Mark Weathington, Director of JC Raulston Arboretum.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#heavy shade#deep shade#shade tolerant#shade garden#fronds#fern#NC native#deer resistant#spring interest#native fern#food source herbage#bird friendly#mammals#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Coastal FACU#audubon#woodlands
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#heavy shade#deep shade#shade tolerant#shade garden#fronds#fern#NC native#deer resistant#spring interest#native fern#food source herbage#bird friendly#mammals#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Coastal FACU#audubon#woodlands
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Botrychium
    Species:
    virginianum
    Family:
    Ophioglossaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    New World and Temp. Eurasia
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Heavy shade, Deer
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Fern
    Native Plant
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    No fruits. This plants reproduces via spores.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    No flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Fronds
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    This plant has long, erect, bright green, arching, 10-in. fronds that are broadly triangular and bipinnate to tripinnate. This plant has 2 large, opposite, basal pinnae and 4-5 pairs of opposite or subopposite smaller pinnae. The segments are pointed, toothed and thin-textured. Fertile fronds arise from the base of the blade.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Shade Garden
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heavy Shade