OK
In progress indicator

Comptonia peregrina (Sweetfern)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
1.5m
Max height
2.5m
Max spread
5-10 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Comptonia peregrina

Other names

Sweetfern, Sweet-fern, Comptonia asplenifolia, Fern-leaved gale, Shrubby sweet fern

Genus

Comptonia Comptonia

Species

C. peregrina - C. peregrina is an upright, deciduous shrub with pinnate, linear to lance-shaped, dark or olive green leaves divided into semi-circular leaflets and insignificant, yellow-green flowers in spring followed by green-brown, burr-like fruit.


Comptonia peregrina is: Deciduous

Fragrance

Leaves are aromatic.

Habit

Upright, Spreading, Bushy

Flower

Insignificant or absent, Yellow-green in Spring

Foliage

Olive green in Spring; Olive green in Summer; Olive green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

General care

Propagation

Seed is difficult to germinate. Harvest 'green' seed after the seed is developed but before it dries on the plant. Sow immediately in a cold frame. If seed has been stored, soak in hot water for 24 hours prior to sowing. Layer in spring.

Propagation methods

Layering, Hardwood cuttings, Seed, Suckers


Sign up for your FREE ACCOUNT today or login to receive detailed monthly care instructions

Where to grow

Comptonia peregrina (Sweetfern) will reach a height of 1.5m and a spread of 2.5m after 5-10 years.

Suggested uses

Hedging/Screens, Cottage/Informal, Beds and borders, Banks and Slopes, Planted in groups

Cultivation

Prefers acid, sandy loam in full sun or partial shade. Tolerates a wide range of conditions including wet soil, wind, drought, and poor soils. Site carefully as can spread rapidly to form colonies once established. Resents transplanting. Fixes nitrogen in the soil.

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Comptonia peregrina

Other names

Sweetfern, Sweet-fern, Comptonia asplenifolia, Fern-leaved gale, Shrubby sweet fern

Genus

Comptonia Comptonia

Species

C. peregrina - C. peregrina is an upright, deciduous shrub with pinnate, linear to lance-shaped, dark or olive green leaves divided into semi-circular leaflets and insignificant, yellow-green flowers in spring followed by green-brown, burr-like fruit.

Native to

Eastern North America

Foliage

Deciduous

Fragrance

Leaves are aromatic.

Habit

Upright, Spreading, Bushy


Colour

Flower

Insignificant or absent, Yellow-green in Spring

Foliage

Olive green in Spring; Olive green in Summer; Olive green in Autumn

General care

Propagation

Seed is difficult to germinate. Harvest 'green' seed after the seed is developed but before it dries on the plant. Sow immediately in a cold frame. If seed has been stored, soak in hot water for 24 hours prior to sowing. Layer in spring.

Propagation methods

Layering, Hardwood cuttings, Seed, Suckers


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Comptonia peregrina (Sweetfern) will reach a height of 1.5m and a spread of 2.5m after 5-10 years.

Suggested uses

Hedging/Screens, Cottage/Informal, Beds and borders, Banks and Slopes, Planted in groups

Cultivation

Prefers acid, sandy loam in full sun or partial shade. Tolerates a wide range of conditions including wet soil, wind, drought, and poor soils. Site carefully as can spread rapidly to form colonies once established. Resents transplanting. Fixes nitrogen in the soil.

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4, Zone 3, Zone 2

In order to add a note on this plant, please add this plant to your plant lists.

In progress indicator
Full size image
In progress indicator
Caption

Caption

Cancel and close this form
In progress indicator
This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

GARDENS WITH THIS PLANT

My Garden
My Garden
Robert Kay

Report content or feedback to Shoot

To add ? to your lists,
login to your account or subscribe.

Find out more about plant lists here

or Login


To check if this plant is suitable for your garden first login to your account or subscribe.

or Login

In progress indicator
Note

Note

You are adding a note to: ?

Cancel