The Sensitive Fern is found on wet rich ground of marshes and swamps or shaded soil of open woods. Sensitive Fern is sensitive to early frost and, presumably it is named for this characteristic. Despite the widespread availability of ferns, wildlife use them only to a minor extent. The minute size of fern spores eliminate them as a significance food. Their leaves are eaten by several wildlife species. People may use young fiddleheads, still tightly curled, in salads or cooked like asparagus.