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Onoclea sensibilis

Pronunciation: oh-NO-clee-ah sen-SIB-ill-iss
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Common Name: Sensitive Fern, Bead Fern
Plant Type:
  • fern
  • perennial
Height to: 2ft (60cm)
Width to: indefinite
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -30 to -40ºF ZONE 3
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
Sun Exposure:
  • full shade
  • part sun
Bloom Season:
  • late summer
Bloom Description: Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis) produce fertile fronds that are stiffly erect, lance shaped, and to 24in (60cm) long. The pinnae are are reduced to bead like black lobes that enclose the sori.
Soil Type: prefer moist, fertile, humus rich, acidic soil
Pests and Diseases: rust
Propagation: Sow Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis) spores at 59-60ºF(15-16ºC) as soon as ripe, or divide in spring.
Native to: E. Asia, E. North America
Notes for Identification:

Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis) is a deciduous fern

Growth rate: moderate

Light: shade, will tolerate sun if sufficient moisture

Landscape habit, uses: natural gardens, woodlands, shade groundcover; coarse textured fernfrom broader leaves and pinnae than most other ferns

Other interest:  common name from fact early settlers noted it was very sensitive to frost; spreads to form colonies to point often of becoming weedy if not sited properly

Other culture: low maintenance

Propagation: spring division, spores

Cultivars: none, found only as the species

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • Less then 1 day ZONE 1
  • 1 to 7 days ZONE 2
  • 7 to 14 days ZONE 3
  • 14 to 30 days ZONE 4
  • 30 to 45 days ZONE 5
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Perennials
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