Osmunda regalis L.
Osmundaceae (Royal Fern Family)
USDA Symbol: osre
The form and texture of this fern are unique. The fronds are cut twice into large rounded leaflets, resulting in foliage that resembles that of the pea family. Delicate, bright green fronds, often with a silvery cast, are crowned with golden, fruiting pinnae on wine-colored petioles. Fronds are 2-6 ft. in length and often 18 in. in width. Rootstock elevated up to 6 inches above the soil surface, with black roots extending deep.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Size Notes: Fronds up to about 6 feet long.
Leaf: Dark Green
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.
DistributionUSA: 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 , NL , NS , PE
Native Distribution: Nf. to Ont., s. to FL & TX. North America, South America, and western Eurasia. Zones 5 to 11.
Native Habitat: Swamps; marshes; stream banks; moist depressions in savannas & prairies
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Various wet soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Limestone-based
Conditions Comments: Tolerates year-round shallow water.
BenefitUse Ornamental: An accent fern for the water garden, bog, or pond area
Use Other: Bristly crown of rootstock a source of osmunda fiber, a potting medium for orchids.
Interesting Foliage: yes
PropagationPropagation Material: Root Division
Description: Propagate by spores or rhizome division.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
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...
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From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Longwood Gardens - Kennett Square, PA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Osmunda regalis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Osmunda regalis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Osmunda regalis
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-21
Research By: TWC Staff