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Comptonia peregrina

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Comptonia peregrina - Sweet Fern

Comptonia peregrina - Sweet Fern

More About Comptonia peregrina

  • Despite its name, it is not a fern, but actually a deciduous shrub
  • Insignificant, greenish flowers, both male and female
  • Brown burrs contain edible nutlets
  • Medium-green leaves, resembling fern fronds, are green and brown in the fall
  • Mounding shrub, spreading by rhizomes
  • Bloom Time: Early summer

Interesting Notes:

Native to Ontario

 Comptonia serves as a host plant for some species of butterflies and moths. Leaves have a pleasant fragrance, especially when crushed.

Zone:

2

Height:

60-150 cm

Spread:

125-200 cm

Colour:

Green
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Sweet Fern Growing and Maintenance Tips

Although not a legume, comptonia is a nitrogen fixer. Grows best in full sun, tolerating some shade and thrives in dry, slightly acidic, sandy soil,  withstanding  poor, even salty soils. If given room, it will colonize (spreading by rhizomes). It is deer resistant.


Comptonia peregrina Characteristics

Full Sun
Full Sun
Partial Sun/Shade
Partial Sun/Shade
Attracts Butterflies
Attracts Butterflies
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Edible
Edible
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant
Salt Tolerant
Salt Tolerant
Fragrant
Fragrant

Soil Moisture

Well-drained
Average to Dry Soils

Growth Rate

Medium

Attributes

Deciduous

Flowering Time

Lt. Spr-Sum

Habit

Spreading
Mounding

Foliage Color

Green

Landscape uses

Naturalizing
Woodland/woods edge

 Suitable Substitutions for Comptonia peregrina