Osmundastrum cinnamomeum, Cinnamon Fern

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Whether by themselves on the woodland floor or coming through shade-tolerant ornamentals, Cinnamon Fern fronds are beautiful when they unfurl in spring and then turn vibrant shades of gold and orange in fall. Fossil records date back 75-180 million years. This versatile, easy to grow fern is still found frequently to commonly throughout much of the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Print Version:Osmundastrum cinnamomeum, Cinnamon Fern



Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets

Tags: Vinca minor – Periwinkle, Liriope spicata – Creeping Lily-turf, Hedera helix – English Ivy, Deciduous perennial in vase-shaped clump with massive rootstocks of densely matted, wiry roots, Wooly hairs cover emerging fiddleheads, Erect, fertile fronds appear first, maturing from green to red-brown; they release spores early summer, then promptly wither to the ground, Yellow-green sterile fronds arch outward and have distinguishing cinnamon hair tuft at base, Vibrant fall foliage from golden to burnt orange, Tolerates dense shade and rabbits; no serious pests or diseases; deer rarely damage Osmunda root fiber used for potting orchids Ethnobotanic, Provides food for a few insects, nesting material (wooly fiddlehead covering) for birds and protective cover when large colonies form Growing and Maintenance Tips Excellent Replacement for Soil Requirements: Humus-rich, acidic Hedera helix – English Ivy Light Requirements: Partial Shade, Shade Liriope spicata – Creeping Lily-turf Water Requirements: Moist, Wet Vinca minor – Periwinkle An excellent fern for the beginning gardener Use as a dramatic accent plant, in rain or woodland gardens, or along fresh water’s edge