Link to Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder Link to Five Springs Farm Plant Information Sheet (pdf)
Native to southeast Ohio Deer-resistant
Native to eastern United States Likes full sun
Native to North America Likes shade
Edible for humans Evergreen or wintergreen
Pollinator-friendly plant Suitable for wet sites
Tolerates clay soils Drought-resistant once established

Please also note: This is only and ever a partial list. We always have plants at the nursery that just came in, or that we only have one or a few specimens of; come by to see all of what's available!

Note: All of these ferns are highly deer-resistant.


Adiantum pedatum - maidenhair fern: mum pot: $8

A delicate-looking but deceptively tough fern, a great companion for the shade flower bed. Will slowly spread.

Athyrium angustum - northern lady fern: mum pot: $8

A finely-cut fern that can grow fairly large with good conditions. Will slowly spread in a clump.

Athyrium asplenioides - southern lady fern: mum pot: $8

A finely-cut fern that can grow fairly large with good conditions. Will slowly spread in a clump.

Azolla cristata - mosquito fern: baggie: $4

A tiny, moss-like aquatic plant that floats on the surface of water. Will only survive mild winters, but can spread quite a bit during a summer. Turns red in sun. This plant can be used in rice paddies as a green fertilizer source, as bacteria within the plant fix nitrogen. The name Azolla caroliniana is the one usually used for this species, but A. cristata is the correct name. Note: The MoBot link is for a different, but very similar, species.

Botrypus virginianus - rattlesnake fern: mum pot: $8

NOTE: Not ready until midsummer.
This relative of the grape fern, Sceptridium dissectum, below, also only sends up one frond per year, but on a normal annual deciduous cycle. In good soil and light shade or filtered sun, this primitive fern can grow to two feet tall, but ten inches is more typical. It will tolerate most soils.

Cystopteris bulbifera - bulblet fern: 4-inch: $5 or mum pot: $8
Zones ; Height: , Spread:

A small fern that's ideal for a limestone rock garden. Will grow in ordinary soil, but is better on a rocky slope. Mature fronds are long and narrow and form bulblets on the underside that fall off and grow new plants. This is the fern that is seen in crowded profusion around some cave openings. Red stems.

Cystopteris protrusa - fragile fern: 4-inch: $5 or mum pot: $8

A small spring ephemeral fern that will grow in almost any shaded soil. The first, sterile fronds die back by early summer, while the slightly longer sterile fronds may last through the season, but are sparse.

Cystopteris tennesseensis - Shaver's bladder fern: 4-inch: $5

A small fern closely related to the fragile fern, above, but normally growing on limestone rock. We only have a very few of these.

Deparia acrostichoides - silvery glade fern: mum pot: $8

A medium to large fern that does well in the shade garden. Will slowly spread to fill an area. Also known as Athyrium thelypterioides.

Dryopteris cristata - crested wood fern: mum pot: $10

A wood fern that delights in inhabiting swampy areas.

Dryopteris filix-mas - male fern: mum pot: $10
Zones 4-8; Height: 24-30 inches

This fern is native to the far north around the world and extends over much of Europe. It has a very strong crown form and is exceptionally hardy. It is the classic remedy for intestinal worms.

Dryopteris marginalis - marginal wood fern: mum pot: $10

Probably the most beautiful of the native wood ferns. Mature plants often have a bluish cast to them, and the sori turn a beautiful violet just before ripening.

Dryopteris remota - remote wood fern: mum pot: $10
Zones 4-8; Height: 24-30 inches

This fern is a fertile hybrid between D. expansa and D. affinis It grows with a strong crown form. It may be evergreen in mild winters.

Equisetum arvense - field horsetail: mum pot: $5

A low-growing, feathery-looking plant that spreads aggressively, but will mix with other wildflowers or ferns. Very attractive, prefers moist soils.

Equisetum fluviatile - water horsetail: mum pot: $8

This is the only truly aquatic horsetail. It can be grown in moist soil but prefers to grow in standing (not flowing) water. It's branched, but the branching is variable.

Equisetum hyemale ssp. affine - scouring rush: mum pot: $5

A stiffly-erect, dark green, evergreen plant that resembles a rush. Loves sandy soils. Plant only where it can be contained!

Equisetum scirpoides - dwarf scouring rush: mum pot: $10

This horsetail looks like a dwarf version of a scouring rush, with rather twisted stems. It must have a fairly wet soil.

Equisetum variegatum - variegated scouring rush: mum pot: $10

This horsetail looks like a smaller version of Equisetum hyemale, above. It likes a wet soil but will do well in a regular garden soil that doesn't dry out excessively.

Homalosorus pycnocarpos - narrow glade fern: mum pot: $8

A beautiful fern of simple structure, sometimes called Tennessee ostrich fern. Will slowly spread to fill an area. With enough moisture, will tolerate high light levels. Also known as Diplazium pycnocarpon.

Lycopodiella inundata - marsh clubmoss: mum pot: $12

An intriguing running clubmoss that needs a wet spot. It looks like a miniature of the foxtail clubmoss, above. Ready in late spring 2017.

Marsilea macropoda - bigfoot waterclover: 4" pot, $7
Zones 8+; Height: 1 foot

A water fern native to the deep south United States. Resembles a large four-leaved clover. Can be grown immersed in water with the leaves floating on the surface or out of water. Quickly spreading.

Marsilea mutica - banded waterclover: 4" pot, $7
Zones 7-11; Height: 6 inches

A curious water fern that intensely resembles a four-leaf clover (more so than the other Marsileas featured here). Can be grown immersed in water with the leaves floating on the surface or out of water. Quickly spreading.

Marsilea vestita - hairy waterclover: 4" pot, $7
Zones 5-10; Height: 6 inches

A water fern native to the deep South through the Great Plains. Often grows as an annual when its habitat dries up in later summer. Resembles a four-leaved clover. Can be grown immersed in water with the leaves floating on the surface or out of water. Quickly spreading.

Marsilea villosa - hairy waterclover: 4" pot, $10
Zones 8+; Height: 6 inches

A federally-endangered water fern endemic to Hawai'i. Often grows as an annual when its habitat dries up in later summer. Resembles a four-leaved clover. Can be grown immersed in water with the leaves floating on the surface or out of water.

Matteuccia struthiopteris - ostrich fern: mum pot: $8, 3 gallon: $17

A large fern with edible fiddleheads (must be thoroughly cooked). Has vase-like crowns. Will spread to fill in an area by underground stolons. Will do well in sun if not too hot.

Onoclea sensibilis - sensitive fern: mum pot: $6, 3 gallon: $12

A coarse fern that thrives in full sun with some moisture. Tough and versatile; spreads easily.

Osmunda claytoniana - interrupted fern: mum pot: $12

This large fern closely resembles the cinnamon fern but has a fresher, less tough look to it. Thrives in full sun with adequate moisture if protected from heat but thrives in shade. Ideal for north-facing slopes. Mature fronds bear spore within the frond in the spring; when these parts fall off, the fronds have a gap, hence the name "interrupted."

Osmunda spectabilis - royal fern: mum pot: $12

This large fern has fronds that resemble locust leaves. Like the cinnamon fern, it appreciates a lot of moisture, and can grow six feet tall. It will grow in standing water; ideal for the edge of a pond.

Osmundastrum cinnamomeum - cinnamon fern: mum pot: $8

A large fern that will grow satisfactorily in the shade in garden soil, but will become spectacular in full sun or partial shade with wet feet year-round. Can grow six feet tall under those circumstances. Will grow with permanently wet feet.

Parathelypteris noveboracensis - New York fern: mum pot: $8

An excellent fern to use as a groundcover in partial shade. Good for moderate slopes.

Phegopteris connectilis - broad beech fern: mum pot: $8

A great ground-cover fern for a shade flower garden. Avoid sun and protect from heat. Also does well in rock gardens. Triangular cut fronds. Easy to grow.

Phegopteris decursive-pinnnata - Japanese beech fern: mum pot: $10

A distinctive-looking fern with narrow fronds that taper at each end. Will form a dense mat. Very easy to grow.

Phegopteris hexagonoptera - broad beech fern: mum pot: $8

The best ground-cover fern for a shade flower garden. Triangular cut fronds. Easy to grow.

Pilularia globulifera - common pillwort: 4" pot, $10
Zones 5-9; Height: 3 inches

A very curious aquatic fern that looks like a little grass. Native to western Europe. It is supposed to be hardy to zone 5, which means hardy in the Athens area, but we haven't tested that yet. Spreads rapidly once established.

Polystichum acrostichoides - Christmas fern: mum pot: $7

The hardiest and most versatile of native ferns. Evergreen. Will tolerate high light levels in good soil.

Pteridium aquilinum - bracken: 3 gallon: $12

The largest of our native ferns. Will form a canopy ground cover 1-3 feet above ground level. Can be very aggressive and needs room. Will grow happily in full sun. Plant it only where you can positively control it.

Pteridium pseudocaudatum - tailed bracken: mum pot: $17

NOTE: Not ready until midsummer.
Similar to regular bracken, but with fewer frond divisions, pinnae and pinnules ending in "tails." Will grow happily in full sun.

Thelypteris palustris - marsh fern: mum pot: $10

A naturalizing fern for wet areas. Love full sun and wet feet.

Woodwardia areolata - chain fern: mum pot: $10

A beautiful fern that resembles the sensitive fern, Onoclea sensibilis, but less coarse, smaller, and more densly-growing. Thrives in highly acid soils as well as regular soils and loves acid mine drainage! Tolerates constantly wet soils.

Woodwardia virginia - chain fern: mum pot: $10

A beautiful fern that resembles the cinnamon fern, but is a fast creeper rather than growing from a crown. This fern has the interesting property that it can grow happily in the nastiest bog. Will grow in water or in ordinary garden soil. It is a strong grower.