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Osmunda cinnamomea

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Plant types and subtypes: Ferns

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade, shade

Water Use: medium, high

Soil Moisture: moist, wet

Soil Description: acid, neutral, rich, loam, clay, sand

Height: 2'-4'

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Additional Tags: attracts birds, bog plant, clumping, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, pond margin plant, shade garden plant, stream margin plant, swamp plant, woodland plant

Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
  • Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
  • Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
  • Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
  • Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)

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Description

Osmunda cinnamomea

Also known as:

cinnamon fern

,

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

This deciduous species of fern is easily identified by its erect, central, cinnamon colored fertile fronds. These emerge first, followed by sterile, bright green fronds that can reach a height of 4 feet or more. The color and texture contrast between these two distinct types of fronds has made Osmunda cinnamomea a garden favorite.

Cultivation

Native to moist woods, stream banks and pond margins, the cinnamon fern can withstand full sun in wet, bog-like conditions. This fern is adaptable to a wide variety of soils and light conditions, so long as you remember that the brighter the light, the wetter it should be. The cinnamon fern will naturalize without becoming aggressive. Zones 3-9

Propagation

Divide established clumps in spring or fall. Spores have short viability.

Additional Notes

The central crown of the cinnamon fern produces a fiber called osmunda, which is favored by birds as a nesting material. It has also been collected as a potting medium for orchids.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: IA
  • Exploitably Vulnerable: NY

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision
Division Pteridophyta Ferns
Class Filicopsida
Subclass
Order Polypodiales
Family Osmundaceae Royal Fern family
Genus Osmunda osmunda
Species Osmunda cinnamomea cinnamon fern