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Ostrich fern

Matteuccia struthiopteris

Ostrich fern is popular for its erect stature and graceful arching fronds (leaves) that resemble huge ostrich feathers. Each frond of this widely grown fern is cut into numerous leaflets and subleaflets. It colonizes fairly fast by spreading rhizomes but rarely becomes invasive. Ostrich fern grows best in moist soil conditions but tolerates occasional drought when established. It's excellent around a pond or in a damp border.


Part Sun, Shade



From 1 to 8 feet


2-3 feet wide

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The curious corkscrew rush loves wet or boggy conditions. It makes a fascinating architectural accent in planters, beds, and moist borders. It's technically leafless, with green cylindrical stems that are pointed at the tip. Plant rush alongside streams and ponds, though it will tolerate dryer conditions elsewhere. It's excellent in container gardens.
Named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, iris indeed comes in a rainbow of colors and in many heights. All have the classic, impossibly intricate flowers. The flowers are constructed with three upright "standard" petals and three drooping "fall" petals, which are often different colors. The falls may be "bearded" or not. Some cultivars bloom a second time in late summer. Some species prefer alkaline soil while others prefer acidic soil.Shown above: Immortality iris
Anemones are lovely, delicate flowers that dance atop slender stems, giving them their poetic common name -- windflower. Depending on the type, anemones bloom in spring, summer, or through fall with pretty, slightly cupped flowers in rose, pink, or white rising over distinctive, deeply lobed foliage.Plants grow best in partial shade but tolerate full sun in Northern regions. If you're lucky, they'll be happy where they're planted. In some cases, you may even need to divide plants frequently to prevent them from overtaking neighboring perennials.

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