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Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis (Royal fern)
Smith, R.W.

Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis

Osmunda regalis L. var. spectabilis (Willd.) A. Gray

Royal Fern

Osmundaceae (Royal Fern Family)

Synonym(s): Osmunda spectabilis


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

Both the Latin and English names refer to the majesty of this large and graceful fern. In spring it is most colourful, both the fiddleheads and young fronds showing shades of orange to wine-red blended with greenish brown (Owen Sound Field Naturalists).


From the Image Gallery

7 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Non-flowering, sporulating plant. Sporulates Apr - May.


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS , ON , PE
Native Habitat: Wet Meadow/Prairie/Field,Riparian,Swamp/Marsh,Lakeshores

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native plants to stop pond bank erosion
June 04, 2008
I recently purchased a home with a small pond in which a nearby stream daylights. The former owner placed large field stone around the pond and the small stream; however, the area around the pond and...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.


Bibref 1231 - Guide To the Ferns of Grey and Bruce Counties, Ontario (1999) Owen Sound Field Naturalists

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Additional resources

USDA: Find Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis


Record Modified: 2015-09-22
Research By: TWC Staff

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