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Boulder Fern Dennstaedtia punctilobula

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Dennstaedtia punctiloba
Phonetic Spelling
den-STYE-tee-uh punk-tih-LOH-bew-luh
Description

Easy to cultivate. Spreads rapidly in light shade to sun and is fairly drought tolerant. It also tolerates salt spray. Crushed fronds emit the fragrance of freshly mowed hay. Fronds tend to become ragged in late summer.

Develops patches of fronds instead of individual clumps. Long, erect to arching, lance-shaped fronds usually widest at the base and are hairy. Yellow-green fronds are thin textured, bipinnate to binnate-pinnatifid with an oval-oblong shape. Pinna are closely spaced but not exactly opposite. It has an acute tip. Pinnule are opposite. Stipe is one-fourth to one-third the frond length and brown to shinny red in color. Fronds turn soft yellow in fall.

Habitat: Rocky or dry woodlands and forests, rock outcrops, pastures, clearings, road banks

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

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#easy to grow#fern#salt spray tolerant#NC native#deer resistant#food source summer#food source herbage#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#easy to grow#fern#salt spray tolerant#NC native#deer resistant#food source summer#food source herbage#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Dennstaedtia
    Species:
    punctilobula
    Family:
    Dennstaedtiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern Canada to U.S.A
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer, drought tolerant, salt spray tolerant
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Fern
    Native Plant
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    No fruits. This plants reproduces via spores.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    No flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Fronds
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Pinnatifid
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Long, erect to arching, lance-shaped fronds usually widest at base. Also hairy. Yellow-green fronds are thin textured, bipinnate to binnate-pinnatifid with an oval-oblong shape. Pinna are closely spaced but not exactly opposite. Has an acute tip. Pinnule are opposite. Fronds turn soft yellow in fall. Crushed fronds emit a fragrance of fresh mowed hay. Tends to become ragged in late summer.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Polished
    Stem Description:
    One-fourth to one-third the frond length and brown to shinny red in color.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Salt