Ferns carry such nostalgia. Their trend setting fronds have decorated fabrics, homes and gardens forever. The ostrich fern (Matteuccia strathiopteris) is one the most common ferns, and super easy to grow. They start as gourmet fiddleheads that are fascinating to watch uncurl and unfurl. In the fern’s young days, they remind me as much of an octopus as of an ostrich. In their full grown spendour, each fern clump resembles a bouquet of ostrich plumes, with fresh green fans tapering to the base crown. Ostrich ferns spread by underground roots (stolons) that develop new crowns. They can be invasive, especially in preferred conditions. However, if you have a shady corner in need of soft, feathery green that sways in breeze, then consider ostrich ferns.
Technical stuff – Ostrich fern/Matteuccia strathiopteris, hardy perennial to zone 1, height of about 48” and spread of about 36”, prefers moist, shade or part shade, can be invasive in ideal conditions.