Cinnamon Fern

Cinnamon fern frond

Cinnamon Fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum)

Identification:

The cinnamon fern is another fern that rises out of a woody clump. Like the ostrich fern, it has a separate spore frond, but in the cinnamon fern the frond is a light brown and is much less woody. The sterile fronds are a much paler green than the ostrich fern, with a furry, light brown covering. Mature fronds are from 90-120 cm (3-5′).

 

Propagation:

Like the ostrich fern, this fern is quite easy to transplant from the wild. Make sure that you have permission from a landowner to dig just a few plants from an area that has plenty. They will spread, especially as the plants mature. Dig in early spring just as the tightly-curled fronds are showing. When transplanting, either to the woods or to your home, make sure to give them lots of space. Mature plants will need to be at least 90 cm (3′) apart.

Habitat:

The cinnamon fern is an excellent choice for either woodlands or around homes. This is a fern of mixed woodlands, thriving in rich, moist soil. Fortunately, it tolerates other conditions. As long as the soil is rich and the plants are well-mulched, cinnamon ferns do well in most protected conditions. That means not at the edge of an open field, getting full sun and wind blown, though dry conditions in partial shade seem to be just fine.