Plants of New Jersey # 3 Sweet-fern



Welcome! Today’s plant we will discuss is the Sweet-fern (Comptonia peregrina). Sweet-fern’s name is misleading as it is not of the fern family but rather is a shrub that grows anywhere from 2 to 4 feet. Sweet-fern gets its name from a pleasant spicy scent it omits. The plant is found on the ridges of the mountains of West Milford generally on dry sterile ground. It is native to the east coast from Nova Scotia down to Georgia.

Sweetfern 2


Wildlife such as Cotton-Tailed Rabbits and White-Tailed Deer eat the shrub. It is well advised not to walk through a thicket of Sweet-fern as chiggers are known to favor this plant. Be warned! 😮 Birds known to favor this plant include the Northern Flicker, Mourning Dove and Ruffed Grouse.

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