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Osmunda claytoniana

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Plant types and subtypes: Ferns

Light Requirements: part-shade, shade

Water Use: medium, high

Soil Moisture: moist, wet

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

Height: 2'-5'

Leaf Color: green

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

Additional Tags: clumping, colonizing, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, pond margin plant, shade garden plant, stream margin plant, wetland plant, woodland plant

Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
  • Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
  • Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
  • Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
  • Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)

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Description

Osmunda claytoniana

Also known as:

interrupted fern

,

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Reaching a height of 4 feet or more, Osmunda claytoniana maintains a vase-like appearance. The center leaflets of the fronds are fertile and fall off once the spores have matured. It is the gap in the fronds, created by the missing fertile leaflets, that gave rise to the common name interrupted fern.

Cultivation

Though the interrupted fern does best in a wet and rich environment, it is tolerant of a wide variety of soils and dryer conditions. Its light green color can be used effectively to brighten up a shade garden. It is easy to grow and will not become invasive. Zones 3-7

Propagation

Divide established clumps in spring or fall. May also be propagated by spores.

Additional Notes

Osmunda claytoniana , or interrupted fern, has the oldest known fossil record of any living fern in the world. It has been around for about 200 million years. Like other members of this genus, this fern produces a fiber (osmunda) which is favored by birds as a nesting material, and 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, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Exploitably Vulnerable: NY
  • Threatened: AR

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 claytoniana interrupted fern