Matteuccia struthiopteris

Ostrich Fern, Shuttlecock Fern

(21 customer reviews)

Matteuccia struthiopteris, or the Ostrich fern, is a wonderfully architectural and extremely hardy plant for moist, cool places. Once settled in it will spread by lateral stolons to form quite dense colonies of beautifully elegant lime-green shuttlecocks.

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Origin: Temperate Eurasia
Genus: Matteuccia
Species / Cultivar: Matteuccia
Common Name: Ostrich Fern, Shuttlecock Fern
Synonym: Onoclea struthiopteris

Plant Biography

This delightful upright deciduous fern grows en mass in impressive natural colonies across a huge range of temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere. As well as in its common name, the similarity to graceful tapering Ostrich feathers is also referenced in the Ancient Greek root of struthiopteris, also translating as Ostrich fern.

In parts of North America, the young fronds are considered something of a delicacy and the export of fiddleheads for the gourmet market is big business in some parts of its range. They taste, it is said, similar to asparagus. The young growth is considered a particular delicacy in Japan, where this  is known as ‘kogomi.’

Matteuccia struthiopteris
Soil: Moisture Retaining
Soil that drains at a slower rate due to higher organic matter content.
Growth Rate: Medium
Expect to see moderate growth during growing season.
Water Requirement: High
Likely to require supplementary watering in warmer months, even once established.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Part Shade
Enjoys several hours of direct sunlight but may enjoy dappling or shade at midday.
Eventual Height: 1.8m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 0.9m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Will survive unprotected outdoors in most areas of the UK, even in the harshest winters.
Habit: Deciduous
Sheds all its foliage annually, so for a period of the year it will be without foliage.

Expert tip

In the wild these ferns favour riverbanks and other waterside areas. Why not imitate this by a pond or other water feature, where the plant's natural fountain shape will be enhanced by the symmetry of its rippling reflections.
Care Size & Guidance

Care Size & Guidance

At full size the Matteuccia struthiopteris can reach almost a metre wide and 1.8m tall, so do not be tempted to overcrowd them when planting. They will naturally die back in the winter and return with spectacular unfurling fountains in Spring, making for a wonderful cyclical display to look forward to. Designers often consider pairing such dramatic deciduous show stoppers with  supporting partners that can provide interest in the winter months, for example fiery stemmed Cornus varieties which appreciate the same damp conditions as Matteuccia struthiopteris.

Great value for money, looking forward to seeing the fronds appear in the spring. Lisa R.
Great value for money, looking forward to seeing the fronds appear in the spring.

21 customer reviews for Matteuccia struthiopteris

Absolutely brilliant service. This plant arrived well packaged and was such a healthy and large specimen that I planted straight away where I wanted it to go (normally I place all new plants, especially ferns, in a holding area I have that protects them for a few months, or overwinter them here so that they can grow bigger and stronger before the final placement). Have ordered before from The Palm Centre and will definitely be ordering more from you. Well done on your excellent plants and service.


Fast Delivery/well packaged,is it meant to look like a waterlogged dead bulb?

Palm Centres answer: This is a plant that remains dormant in the winter, no leaves, so yes the fern you received will have no leaves at this time of the year.

Kevin Walker

arrived on time and safely, plants are a good size and look forward to being able to plant out.


top quality plants.exceptional value.great service and packaging.

eric barnes