Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. March 2011.
Scientific name: Comptonia peregrina (L.) J.M. Coult.; also Myrica aspleniifolia L.
Common name(s): sweet fern, sweet-fern
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– perennial shrub
-Woody shrub up to 3′ tall
-erect or spreading branches
Leaves and stems covered with hairs
- Leaves are alternate
- linear 3″-6″ long
- deeply lobed
-Leaves and stems fragrant when crushed
– flowers April-May.
-flower produces brown catkins in April before leaves begin to develop in May
-mulching can be effective in blueberry fields for preventive methods
-weed whacking or clipping at least three times a season to eliminate sun competition
-USDA recommends the following chemicals for effective suppression
-used by Native Americans as a astringent and to treat fever, toothaches, rashes
medical herbs. “Medicinal HerbsSweet FernComptonia Peregrina.” Medicinal Herbs: SWEET FERN – Comptonia Peregrina, Plants for a Future, www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/c/comptonia-peregrina=sweet-fern.php.