Beech Fern - Phegopteris hexagonoptera
Beech Fern is a common forest fern in the eastern United States. This beautiful fern is green, lush, and leafy. Its fronds are divided with deeply cut pinnae, and its vibrant green color will last the entire growing season. Each compound leaf will have 12-20 leaflet pairs that join together at the bases. All of the leaflet pairs are wide at the base and become more narrow at the tips. It thrives when planted in soil that is somewhat acidic and contains a higher moisture content. The Beech Fern grows during the Spring and Summer months but can adjust to cooler climates. Hardy to zones 4-10, it achieves its most vibrant color when exposed to medium sunlight and shade. However, it can adapt to growing in full shade. In warmer zones, the Beech Fern can be evergreen but is fully perennial to zone 4. Mature height ranges from 12-24 inches, and they have a nonaggressive spreading habit. Beech Ferns will provide an abundant green understory for a garden and pair wonderfully with fountains, ponds, and rock gardens. They are natural to woodlands but are a popular choice for landscapers and gardeners because they are easy to care for and will rapidly fill the beds and land it is planted in. They are lovely to cultivate when desiring a large area of groundcover. They are also a great choice for the gardener wanting plants that will not attract many bugs or pests. When exposed to cold weather or too much sun the overall growth will slow but will regenerate as the conditions stabilize. The ferns also thrive when potted and travel well, breaking minimally. Whether growing rather wildly in a garden or planted neatly in a pot on the front porch, this plant offers a serene and natural look.