lacy fan shaped green fronds on brown stems (stipes), turns a nice russet brown in the fall
reaches 12-16 inches tall spreading slow to moderate to about 2 feet
When to cut off the dead fronds is a matter of choice. I like to cut them back in the spring leaving the dead fronds for winter interest.
The leaves were used to make a medicinal tea to treat constipation, coughs and other respiratory diseases. The dark stems were also valued for their decorative qualities in basket making. The genus name comes from the Greek, meaning "not wetting", referring to the fronds' ability to shed water without becoming wet.
I have found this fern a little slow to get started. Be patient and with time it will form a thick ground cover layer.