Lady ferns also grow in the wild, especially in deciduous forests of North America and Europe.
The lady fern is a deciduous perennial fern, ranging from about twenty-four to thirty-six inches tall. The bright green, lacy fronds grow to about thirty inches in length and are six to nine inches wide.
Lady ferns will often grow in a group, and spread outwards. As the plants spread out, the ferns in the center often die off, leaving a natural ring of plants.
Grizzly bears and elk use lady fern as a food source in the wild. These ferns, unlike many others, can thrive in very cold and harsh climates.
They are most hardy to zone two, and easily survive winter weather of minus thirty degrees. The lady fern often will grow best in wet forested thickets, or along stream banks. They require a good amount of moisture to thrive.
The lady fern had several uses historically to the native people of the land. The large leaves of the lady fern were used to dry out berries in the sun.
The young fiddleheads were eaten in the spring. Tea made from the lady fern was used to aid childbirth. Oil from the stocks was used to expel worms from the body.