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Osmunda regalis

Common Name(s):

  • Flowering Fern
  • Royal Fern
Phonetic Spelling
os-MUN-dah ree-GAY-liss
Description

Osmunda regalis, commonly called royal fern, is a tall, deciduous, native fern which usually occurs on moist bluffs and ledges and along streams (sometimes growing in the water).  Typically grows in clumps to 2-3' tall, but with constant moisture can reach 6' in height. Broad fronds have large, well-separated pinnae (leaflets) which give this fern an almost pea-family appearance. Fronds typically turn yellow to brown in autumn. Spores are located in brown, tassel-like, fertile clusters at the tips of the fronds, thus giving rise to the additional common name of flowering fern for this plant. Osmunda fiber used in the potting of orchids comes from the fibrous roots of these ferns.

It is best grown in medium to wet soils in part shade. It prefers moist, rich, humusy, acidic soils, but adapts to lesser conditions. Also prefers cool summer climates where it tolerates close to full sun as long as given consistent moisture. Full sun exposure is not recommended.

Golden clusters of spore cases appear on the stalks in the summer.

Seasons of Interest: 

  Leaf:   Summer                             

Cultivars:
Tags:
#deciduous#water garden#rain garden#naturalize#wet sites#deer resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#deciduous#water garden#rain garden#naturalize#wet sites#deer resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Osmunda
    Species:
    regalis
    Family:
    Osmundaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Wildlife Value:
    It provides excellent ground cover for animals and birds.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is seldom damaged by deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Fern
    Native Plant
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight (2-4 hrs) for only part of the day
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Pink
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Fronds
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Rhomboidal
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Near Septic
    Riparian
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Wet Soil