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This is arguably our most common local fern, and the reason for that is probably because it thrives in a wide range of conditions. Typically it likes shaded slopes with a little extra moisture, but I've seen them do fine with partial sun where lots of water is available. If you really want to treat one, plant it next to a decaying log. They love that.


Fragile ferns are on the small side, perfect for a border or rock garden. They are weakly rhizomatous, meaning they'll spread by sending up fronds a short distance from the main plant. In the winter and very dry weather they go completely dormant. 


Pairs well with heartleaf arnica, wilcox penstemon, canada violet, and raceme pussytoes.

fragile fern

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  • Cystopteris fragilis

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