Plant Guide

Dennstaedtia punctilobula

Pronunciation: denn-STAY-tee-ah punk-ti-LOW-buu-lah
Family: Dennstaedtiaceae
Common Name: Hay-scented Fern
Plant Type:
  • perennial
  • fern

Height to: 3'
Width to: 2'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -30 to -40ºF ZONE 3
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8

Bloom Description: foliage
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun


Growth rate: moderate

Fronds: lanceolate 3-5" wide, twice to tri-pinnate, pinnae toothed with irregularly cut margins or teeth, scattered hairs on rachis and stipe

Sori: on raised dots (globular receptacles) on marginal teeth, spores ripen in late summer to fall

Soil: moist, well-drained and acidic prefered although it tolerates most

Light: part shade or sun in North

Pests and Problems: none serious

Landscape habit, uses: woodlands, shade gardens, massed as groundcover at woodland edge

Other interest: native to eastern N. America; leaves when bruised smell like fresh mown hay; named for German botanist of 18th century August Wilhelm Deenstedt; only the species exists and is a popular garden fern being very adaptable and tolerant of many conditions

Other culture: low maintenance, aggressive spreader under ideal conditions

Propagation: spring division of rhizomatous mats, spores

Source: University of Vermont

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • Less then 1 day ZONE 1
  • 1 to 7 days ZONE 2
  • 7 to 14 days ZONE 3
  • 14 to 30 days ZONE 4
  • 30 to 45 days ZONE 5
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8

Submitted by: suzi
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