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Ferns/help identifying giant fern


6ft tall fern
6ft tall fern  
What is this fern called? They are all over the property I'm renting. Some are over 6ft tall and they only have been growing for about 1 month. I am located in north west Indiana. Thank you

Following up:

I have shown your photo to a few of my colleagues.  One felt that it was a species of "Woodwardia", which was also my initial notion.  However, after studying photos of the Woodwardia native to your region, I am not confident in this answer.  The other colleagues felt that this was probably not a fern, but a flowering plant with fern-like leaves.  The way to know for sure is by inspecting the undersides of the leaves for spores.  If the plant produces spores, then it is a fern.  If it flowers, then of course it it not a fern.  I am sorry I could not provide you with a more definitive answer.


Samantha hi;

From the photo provided, I am not able to make a positive identification.  I have a few ideas, but do not wish to steer you wrong.  I have forwarded the image to some of my colleagues, and will wait to see what they say.

Thanks for the challenge!



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Dan Carmi


I can answer all types of questions regarding ferns: their physiology, life cycle, taxonomy, culture (for both the professional and hobbyist), home and garden application and care, site suitability, and more. I can also answer questions in the fields of greenhouse production, foliage plants, and houseplant care, along with questions in the general field of ornamental horticulture. I may be able to identify fern and foliage plants by photo, but I am unlikely to be able to do it by description (though I will never turn down a challenge). I am not an expert in crop, field, and agronomic production. I am not an expert on annuals, perennials, tree & shrub crops.


I am a horticulturist with a formal education and twelve years experience in commercial fern and tropical foliage production. I also served as Adjunct Professor of Horticulture at Florida Southern College.

Florida's Nursery Growers and Landscape Association: current member and Action Chapter Board Member 2006-2008.

I have a BSc in Environmental Horticulture / Business from Florida Southern College, specializing in Greenhouse Management and Production.

Awards and Honors
FNGLA Action Chapter President's Award 2006-2007, numerous academic awards 2001-2005.

Past/Present Clients
Through my place of employment, I serve hundreds of commercial growers across the country and beyond.

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