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Hay-scented Fern | Plant Profile

Hay-scented Fern (Dunnstaedtia punctilobula) are fragrant, deciduous ferns that are native to open woodlands of the American northeast. The fronds are narrow, somewhat erect, and arching. The light green fronds turn yellow in the fall. The highly fragrant fronds give the aroma of freshly cut grass or hay, as indicated by the name.

Hay-scented Fern prefers fertile, moist, acidic soils in part shade to full shade.

Hay-scented Fern are extremely common on the Pennsylvania forest floors. They are best left to naturalize in woodland areas to tidy the forest floor.


Hay-scented Fern Characteristics

Hay-scented Fern prefers shady locations but can tolerate full sun if the soils are kept consistently moist. While rich soils are preferable, these hardy ferns can tolerate poor, rocky, and dry soils. Well established plants are hardier than young ones. These ferns are rapidly spreading and form colonies quickly.

There are few serious disease or insect issues that threaten Hay-scented fern. Leaf scorch may cause the foliage to decline in the height of summer.

USDA Climate Zone
Zones 3 - 8
1.50 - 2.00'
2.00 - 3.00'
Bloom Time
Part Shade - Full Shade
Deer Resistant?