Dennstaedtia is a genus of 70 ferns with a worldwide distribution and a tongue twisting name. The genus name commemorates a German botanist by the name of August Wilhelm Dennstedt. Although most Dennstaedtia species are tropical, there are a few that can grow in temperate gardens.
More Information About Dennstaedtia
The best known of the temperate species is the Dennstaedtia punctilobula, an eastern US native species that is also known as the hay-scented fern. Dennstaedtia ferns have long underground rhizomes so the plants spread readily to form large groundcover colonies. That's great if you have a large space, but not so great if you plant your dennstaedtia next to a prized cypripedium. Dennstaedtia is a plant for spacious areas or containers only.
Like most ferns, dennstaedtia prefers dappled shade and consistent moisture. Dennstaedtia is deciduous and the leaves turn an attractive yellow color in the fall. A curious feature of dennstaedtia is that the fronds turn towards the light and so all of the fronds in a colony will face the same direction. How cool is that? This fern is also deer-resistant. Note that Dennstaedtia is frequently misspelled as Dennstadtia in the trade. When you are ready to buy dennstaedtia for your shade perennial garden or containers, please check out our online list of dennstaedtia for sale.