Matteuccia struthiopteris

Shuttlecock fern

  • Botanical name: Matteuccia struthiopteris
  • Common name: Shuttlecock fern
  • Family: Woodsiaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial
Foliage colour:


The shuttlecock fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris, is a particularly attractive fern, bearing large, pale green, lacy fronds. It’s an excellent foliage plant for moist, dappled shade and works particularly well when planted in groups. Grow it among other moisture- and shade loving plants such as on the edge of a pond, in woodland situations or in a large container on a shady patio.


Matteuccia struthiopteris spreads slowly by underground rhizomes. The offsets can be dug up and moved in spring, but plants look best when left to form colonies. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

How to grow Matteuccia struthiopteris

  • Plant size

    1.5m height

    100cm spread

  • Aspect

    North facing, east facing, south facing, west facing

  • Sun exposure: Dappled shade, partial shade, full shade
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Well drained / light / sandy / clay / heavy / moist / chalky / alkaline / acidic

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do Plant in July

Do Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December


Do not Divide in January

Do not Divide in February

Do Divide in March

Do Divide in April

Do not Divide in May

Do not Divide in June

Do not Divide in July

Do not Divide in August

Do not Divide in September

Do not Divide in October

Do not Divide in November

Do not Divide in December

Matteuccia struthiopteris and wildlife

Matteuccia struthiopteris has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Matteuccia struthiopteris poisonous?

Matteuccia struthiopteris has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People

Plants that go well with Matteuccia struthiopteris