Osmundastrum cinnamomeum

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 10 Professionals
Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: cinnamon fern
Type: Fern
Family: Osmundaceae
Native Range: Americas and eastern Asia
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Tolerate: Rabbit, Heavy Shade

Culture

Easily grown in medium to wet soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers moist, rich, humusy, acidic soils, but adapts to lesser conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Osmundastrum cinnamomeum, commonly called cinnamon fern, is a Missouri native fern which occurs in moist, boggy ground along streams and on shaded ledges and bluffs, primarily in the eastern Ozark region of the State. Typically grows in clumps to 2-3' tall, but with constant moisture can reach 5' in height. Separate spore-bearing, stiff, fertile fronds appear in early spring, quickly turning brown. The familiar "fiddleheads" also emerge from the base of the plant and unfurl into large, erect, pinnately-compound, yellowish-green, sterile fronds (2-4' long) which remain attractive throughout the summer and turn yellow in autumn. The common name of this plant is in reference to the cinnamon colored fibers found near the frond bases. Osmunda fiber used in the potting of orchids comes from the roots of these ferns.

Specific epithet means brown like cinnamon for the fertile fronds, which appear in early spring but quickly turn brown.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Excellent selection for wet areas along ponds, streams, water gardens or in bogs. Also grows well in shaded borders, woodland gardens, wild gardens or native plant gardens.