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Ostrich Tail Ferns

Ostrich Tail Ferns are one of the largest species of fern in North America & are particularly abundant in northern North America.

The spore columns develop in the fall, stand through the winter & drop their spore in early spring.

This species favors river banks, grows a completely vertical crown but spreads out to form new crowns.

Very dense colonies are grown & by their lateral expansion resist seasonal destruction caused by floodwaters.

Due to Alaska’s extended sunlight of spring & summer, the ferns growth-rate is exceptional…sometimes exceeding two inches per day.

The series below shows the fiddleheads first extending out of individual crowns about a foot tall…this was on May 22nd.

The remaining pics show the entire maturity of the ferns over 30 days…until the Summer Solstice on June 21st (last 4 images).

The majority of these amazing Ostrich Plumes stand about 5-6 feet tall…but in some years several fronds will reach 7 feet tall.

This healthy fern grotto is transplanted from the huge cottonwood forests on the banks of the Susitna & Talkeetna Rivers.

They grow to be a wall of greenery through the northern summer!


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