Edible Native Plants, Pollinator Plants, Rain Gardens
2 to 5'
May, June, July, August
Dry, Medium, Moist
Sandy to loamy; well-drained
2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Part shade, Part Sun, Full sun
Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina) is a small, mounding, deciduous shrub that grows naturally in dry open woods, roadsides, and sandy barrens. The foliage is aromatic when crushed and resembles fern fronds, hence the common name. The catkins that appear in April attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, while the nutlets provide food for songbirds and other wildlife. Sweetfern is commonly used in rain gardens and on hillsides as erosion control. It is the larval host to the Grey Hairstreak butterfly (shown above).
Parts of Sweetfern are also edible. The young fruits can be eaten as a pleasant nibble, while the aromatic leaves, fresh or dried, can be used to make a palatable tea. The leaves can also be used as a seasoning.
We ship from two locations:
Maryland – Our nursery in Maryland is perfectly located to serve the Eastern United States within a 2-3 day shipping window. You will receive the most reasonable shipping rates from our Maryland location if you live east of Ohio.
Illinois – Our nursery in Illinois is perfectly located to serve the Midwestern United states within a 2-3 day shipping window. You will receive the most reasonable shipping rates from our Illinois location if you live west of West Virginia.
We are now shipping for Fall 2023!