Native Plant Trust

Deparia acrostichoides

silvery false spleenwort


An underused species. It is a vase or clump forming fern with beautiful green foliage and stems covered with fine silvery hairs. It has a fine texture and grows well in a variety of conditions. Once established, this fern spreads to form nice colonies, but is not aggressive.

Click on these links to read in detail:  General Description | Benefits | Ecology | References


Height: 18-40 in
Spread: 1-3 Feet
Hardiness Zone: 4-9


Characteristics & Attributes

Cultivation Status
Species
Exposure
Part Shade
Shade
Soil Moisture
Wet
Average
Ecoregion
(58) Northeastern Highlands
(83) Eastern Great Lakes Lowlands
(59) Northeastern Coastal Zone
(84) Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens
(82) Acadian Plains and Hills
Attracts Wildlife
Other Pollinators/Wildlife
Additional Attributes
Low Maintenance
Landscape Use
Groundcover
Naturalize
Rain Garden
Specimen
Growth Habit
Spreading/Suckering


North American Distribution


General Description

Bloom Description: No flowers. The fronds are slow to appear in spring, usually arising in late May. The fiddleheads are small, delicate and covered with beautiful silvery hairs.

Growth Habit & Shape: Gorgeous vase shaped fern that readily forms colonies. The fronds are plume shaped with the widest portion in the middle.

Soil Preferences: This fern grows in rich humusy forest soils or rocky woodland soils. It can tolerate rocky upland soils, sandy forest sites, and forested wetland edges.

Root Description: Deparia is an upright growing rhizome, meaning that the plant forms a vase-shaped crown where the fronds arise. This fern spreads by a finger-sized rhizome that creeps through the garden forming colonies of individual plants. It is not aggressive, but a good colonizer.

Garden Uses: Use Deparia as a specimen or in groups throughout the garden. Plant near the edge to admire the beautiful, delicate fiddleheads as they emerge in the springtime. Use throughout the garden to bring together a variety of wildflowers or as a background species between shrubs and more delicate wildflowers.

Best Management & Maintenance: An easy-to-establish plant that can be planted and left alone. Easy to transplant. Transplanting is best done in the early in the season as the fiddleheads are beginning to emerge, but have been successful moving this plant throughout the season. Transplanted individuals need to be well watered while they establish.

Common Problems: none

Benefits

Ornamental Value: The silvery hairs that cover the stalks and silvery sori (spore cases) are lovely. The growth habit of the fern makes it easy to fit in between other perennials. Its fine texture allows it to blend well with larger, coarser perennials.

Wildlife Benefits: Provides cover for butterflies and moths.

Other Practical/Environmental Benefits:

Use in place of: Hosta

Ecology

Habitat:
Damp woods, often on slopes


Response to Disturbance: Although Deparia acrostichoides is easy to establish it appears that it is often found in older woodland or forested sites. Due to its rhizomotous nature, it may indeed regenerate following disturbances such as logging or nearby ground disturbances.

Native State Distributions:
Canada: N.B., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que
USA: AL, AR, CT, DE, GA, IL, IIN, IA, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VT, VA, WV., WI.


Wetland indicator status: FAC

Companion Plants:
Actaea sp., Aruncus dioicus, Iris cristata, I. virginiana, Cardamine sp., Packera ovata, Aquilegia canadensis, Polemonium reptans, Hydrangea arborescens, Gillenia sp., Phlox sp., Adiantum pedatum.

References

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