Toothwood fern is native to both North America and Europe.
It is deciduous in the northern reaches of its habitat and semi-evergreen in the southern reaches. These ferns are naturally found in a wide variety of woodland settings. They favor sandy, moist, and slightly acidic soil. They thrive in light, partial, and full shade. Mature plants reach a height of around 24 – 36 inches with a spread of about 18 – 24 inches. These ferns have a medium growth rate. They are very easy to grow, as they only require regular watering, being careful to keep the soil moist between waterings. It’s no wonder these beautiful light green ferns are a favorite of landscapers and gardeners alike. They are used for massing, for borders, and for brightening up a shady garden.
Another trait of these plants is the fact that they are resistant to deer and rabbits, giving the owner peace of mind.
Typically, the toothed wood fern consists of tall bright green fronds. These fronds produce 1 – 5 ascending leaves. The leaves are hairless and ovate, divided into up to 18 pairs of pinnate leaflets. Each leaflet is oblong, having up to 18 pairs of subleaflets. Each subleaflet is sharply toothed, giving it an almost spiny appearance. The basal subleaflets ( the ones closest to the bottom ) are usually longer than the second and third subleaflets. This is a fundamental identifying feature of the species. The leaves are very lacy and resemble micro shrubbery when viewed up close. The toothed wood fern will begin to die back at the first frost and spring back to life around the beginning of April in most zones. Whether you’re planning a hardy border for an existing garden or adding vibrant green to an otherwise dull patch under a tree, this easy to grow fern is sure to please.