Native SpeciesSweetfern

Comptonia peregrina
FOUND by Glaceau 2
ID Confirmed
Quality checked by Ms. H
Peer reviewed by Chris and Jacob
Field Notes
The habitat in which we studied and looked for the Sweet Fern plant was in a rocky, ditch-like area that borders a forested habitat. We noticed that the Sweet Fern smells very similar to a pine tree or other fern-like plants although this plant is not classified as a fern. We can also hear the sounds of car motors because we are in a developed that is very close to a road. We were surprised that we found both native, Sweet Fern, and nonnative, Japanese Barberry, plants in the same quadrat. A problem we ran into with finding evidence for identifying the Sweet Fern and Japanese Barberry plants was that we didn't find any densely grown plants that formed shrubs but the plants generally grown together.
A sketch of our study site.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
The leaves are in between 5-12 cm, ours is approximately 7 cm, and are alternating in pattern. The shape of the leaves are simple with the edges of the leaves are lobated, meaning that they have spots that are concave and then are convex.
Photo of my evidence.
The Sweet Fern is a shrub plant so it grows densely or together and stands about 1 and a half meters tall. This plant grows in a spot were sunlight is excessive and in sandy soil.
Photo of my evidence.
Although Sweet Fern is not a true fern, it looks very similar to ferns commonly found, but can be distinguished by its woody stem and shrub-like growth.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I found it
Scientific name:
Comptonia peregrina
Common name:
Sampling method: 
Quadrat (user-placement)
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
N 43.736950 °
W -70.275450 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Upland - Developed areas
Trip Information
Upland Edge of Stream and Road
Trip date: 
Fri, 2011-09-16 08:00
Town or city: 
Type of investigation: 
Species Survey


Your observations were astute. Ditches are the most common site for Comptonia and many weeds, native and non-native. Why do you suppose that is?