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Hay-scented fern

Dennstaedtia punctilobata

Hay-scented fern

Hay-scented fern gets its name from the scent of its fronds when they're bruised. It is an upright native fern that tolerates a wide range of conditions, including dry shade, once established. Plants spread quickly to form a naturalized groundcover.

Part Sun,Shade
Plant Type:
Plant Height:
2-3 feet tall
Plant Width:
2-3 feet wide
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders,Groundcover
Special Features:
Attractive Foliage,Fragrant,Drought Tolerant,Deer Resistant,Easy to Grow
Plant It With
Solomon's seal

The upright arching stems of Solomon's seal echo the arching fronds of hay-scented fern. With its white leaf margins, the variegated form of Solomon's seal looks especially good with it.


Turtlehead matches hay-scented fern in height, but adds a splash of pink or white flowers in late summer shade.


Low mounds of silver-splashed lungwort look attractive at the base of hay-scented fern. They, too, can tolerate dry shade.