Osmunda flowering fern

Flowering ferns are one of the largest of our native ferns and are fairly common, they grow in vase-like clumps with sterile fronds surrounding the more erect, fertile fronds.  The fiddleheads emerge early in spring (fertile ones emerge first) and are covered with wooly white or reddish-brown hair.

These ferns are ancient and have distinctive sporangia that are not aggregated into distinct sori like other ferns, rather they are individually attached and clustered on pinnae of the fertile fronds.  Spores are green and short-lived, so they must be sown within a week after they ripen.  

These ferns are found in various wet locations, such as bogs, marshes, and moist woods. 

Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern) Plant is native to PA

Large, coarse fern, that is arching in growth.  …

Osmunda spectabilis (royal fern) Plant is native to PA

This stately fern may look like a small shrub …

Osmunda flowering fern

Osmunda gallery
Common Names
flowering fern