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sensitive fern

a common, widely distributed fern, Onoclea sensibilis, having large, triangular leaves and beadlike spikes that contain the spores.
Origin of sensitive fern
1805-15, Americanism; so called from the sensitivity of its foliage to frost Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sensitive fern
  • Scattered between the hummocks are pools that contains species such as marsh marigold, and sensitive fern.
  • There is a dense herb layer with sensitive fern and, locally, ostrich fern.
  • Dominant vegetation includes red maple, yellow birch, and sensitive fern.

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