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Comptonia peregrina

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
komp-TOH-nee-uh per-uh-GREE-nuh
Description

This beautiful fern has a delicate look that will give that exotic feel to any garden and a lush feel to your landscape.

This plant is a low maintenance fern in the Myricaceae family. This native to eastern North America has aromatic foliage that resembles ferns, hence the common name of sweet fern.  It is often found along roadsides and is capable of fixing its own nitrogen.  It works well in rain gardens or be allowed to naturalize.  Once established, it can spread rapidly to form colonies.

Interesting information

This plant is a Wildlife Enhancement

Seed: Nutlet

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No significant insect or disease problems.

Foliage:

Zig-zag fragrant leaves are simple, narrow, lustrous, pinnatifid, deeply notched, olive to dark green (to 4" long).

Flower:

Insignificant, yellow-green female, brown male catkins, appear April-May. Greenish brown, burr-like nutlets follow.

A plant that tolerates many conditions including drought, wet sites, and wind. It can even grow in sheltered seaside locations. Prefers sandy acidic loams, well-drained, in full sun to part. It does not transplant well so choose a location carefully. This would make a good choice for stabilizing slopes or embankments.

Form:

Upright

This plant naturalizes, wet sites, deciduous, low maintenance and has fragrant leaves.

This plant will bring that luxurious feel to your garden and enhance its beauty with its luxurious green leaves. 

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#butterflies#deciduous#songbirds#rain garden#orange leaves#fragrant leaves#red leaves#aromatic#yellow leaves#low maintenance#host plant#playground#wet sites#NC native#children's garden#naturalizes
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#butterflies#deciduous#songbirds#rain garden#orange leaves#fragrant leaves#red leaves#aromatic#yellow leaves#low maintenance#host plant#playground#wet sites#NC native#children's garden#naturalizes
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Comptonia
    Species:
    peregrina
    Family:
    Myricaceae
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern Canada to North Central & Eastern U.S.A
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Nesting
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    This plant has brown male catkins. It also has female flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves can be green or a mixture of red, orange, or yellow.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil