River Fern

Thelypteris kunthii

  • Likes shady, moist areas, so not suited for rain gardens
  • Prune dead fronds before spring time growth
  • Mulch well

Thelypteris kunthii, the River Fern, is as the name implies native to the southern tier of the U.S. and ranges southward through Mexico, Central and South America as far as northern Brazil. It is a hairy bushel of tall, 24 to 48 inch fronds that form a mass of dense, deciduous, lanceolate to triangular foliage. Extremely heat tolerant it is a very popular and reliable subject for a quick cover in southern gardens. Although it can withstand drought, for the best ornamental display it prefers moisture rich compost with light shade.

Common Names:  Southern Shield Fern, Southern Wood Fern, Southern Maiden Fern, River Fern, Widespread Maiden Fern