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Plants of the UNF Campus

Osmunda cinnamomea - Cinnamon fern
Family Osmundaceae


Ten species of Osmunda are native to North America, Europe and Asia. The fiddleheads (curled new leaves) of some species are used for food. Cinnamon fern is native to the eastern U.S. and is found in moist sites. Spores are borne on specialized leaves that are held upright among the arching sterile fronds. Leaflets on the specialized fertile leaves are short and twisted so these fronds do not look like leaves. Plants are dormant through winter and leaves re-emerge in early spring. The dried fibrous root system of North American species was once used for growing orchids.


See plants in moist natural areas on campus such as the sides of the Lake Oneida boardwalk.


Herbaceous plant with leaves to about two or three feet tall, with the potential of five feet tall.

Care Instructions:

Light: full sun to full shade

Water: requires moist soil, tolerates standing water

Soil: moisture is essential, no other special requirements

This native fern is easy to grow in northeast Florida in a moist, shady site.

Osmunda cinnamomea