Cinnamon Ferns are surprisingly tolerant of full sun conditions if copious water is present. These grow in habitats such as
marshes and woodlands but can tolerate brief dry spells. They grow naturally along most of the eastern United States,
including the Eastern Deciduous Forest.
Osmunda cinnamomea (Cinnamon Fern)
Subspecies: ssp. asiatica, var. cinnamomea, var. glandulosa, var. forma frondosa
Native: eastern North America
Hardiness Zones: 3-9
Height: rarely to 1.5 meters tall
Diameter: usually to 1 meter across
Root System: fibrous, black, form an extensive network
Growth Rate: moderate
Tolerates: heavy shade, wet conditions, good fire resilience, drought (moderate), leaf scorch (for ferns)
Problems (major): none
Problems (minor): Grazing animals, such as cattle, and caterpillars may eat the foliage. However, this is rarely fatal.
Poisonous: may be toxic to ingest if uncooked (thiaminase)
Soil requirements: prefers consistently moist, slightly acidic, well-drained soils
Air requirements: prefers high humidity
Watering requirement: moderate to high
Sun requirement: partial shade to full shade (can survive in full sun)
Fronds: pinnately-compound, light to medium green but with orange fibers on each rachis, to 50 leaflets (sterile); erect,
cinnamon-brown in early summer, no pinnae, spores quickly lose viability (fertile)
Fiddleheads: initially tall and erect, covered in a wool-like white substance
Rhizomes: woody, creeping
Spores: on fertile fronds
The mature fertile fronds are an unusually cinnamon-brown color.
The fibrous roots of Cinnamon Ferns and other Osmunda species are sometimes used for orchid potting mix. The roots are
sometimes used to help treat rheumatoid arthritis.
All of the images provided were taken by me. They may be used for educational/informational purposes only, provided that
this article/online journal is appropriately cited first.