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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