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Comptonia peregrina

Sweet Fern

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Item #: 616

Zones: 2a to 7b

Dormancy: Winter

Height: 24" tall

Culture: Part Sun to Light Shade


Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L) ?

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.

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I am not a fern...I am a shrub...and a fragrant one at that! The common name, sweet fern, sums up its namesake well. Comptonia hails from Canada south to Northern Georgia, where it is usually found on sandy dry soils in full sun as well as under an open canopy of sparse pine trees. The thick fern-like green leaves are deliciously fragrant, as is common in its family, Myricaceae...think wax myrtles. Comptonia peregrina spreads by short stolons, so don't plant it near smaller, less aggressive neighbors. Sweet fern is a renaissance plant in the garden...a nitrogen fixer as well as a larval host for a wide range of moths and butterflies....and it looks really cool!