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Perennials: Comptonia peregrina

Botanical name: Comptonia peregrina

Common name: sweet-fern

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Photo credit: Siegelgirl
Perennials: Comptonia peregrina
Perennials: Comptonia peregrina
Sprite
created by:
Siegelgirl

Brooklyn, Ny

at a glance

Soil: dry, acidic, sand
Sun:
  
  
Zones: 2a thru 9b
Care:
average
Lifespan:
perennial
Category:   
Attributes:

winter interest, fall interest, drought tolerant

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description for "Perennials: Comptonia peregrina"

Comptonia peregrina is a bushy deciduous shrub that is fern–like, but not botanically a fern. Leaves give off a sweet odor when crushed. 2' to 4' tall with a spread twice the height; a spreading, colonizing plant. Stems are slender and upright. Foliage turns rusty red in fall. Attractive fruit and crispy foliage provide winter interest. Food plant for larvae of several moths and butterflies. Native to pine barrens. Drought tolerant once established. Blooms in April and early May, but flowers are not ornamentally significant. Requires acidic sandy soil. When planting Comptonia, mix 3lbs. of garden sulfur and 5 gallons of sand with the loamy soil. Drought and salt tolerant. Zones: 2-9, but performs poorly in zones warmer than 6

History:

Native to northeastern United States. Typically found on gravelly soils along road cuts.

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