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Cinnamon Fern

Scientific name: Osmundastrum cinnamomeum

Osmundastrum cinnamomeum, commonly called Cinnamon fern, is a native fern which occurs in moist, boggy ground along streams and on shaded areas. Typically grows in clumps to 2-3 feet tall, but with constant moisture can reach 5 feet in height.

The common name of this plant, Cinnamon fern, refers to the cinnamon-colored fibers found near the frond bases.


Separate spore-bearing, stiff, fertile fronds appear in early spring, quickly turning brown. The familiar “fiddleheads” also emerge from the base of the plant and unfurl into large, erect yellowish-green fronds (2-4 feet long) which remain attractive throughout the summer and turn yellow in autumn.


Non-flowering; reproduces by spores. Not all cinnamon ferns are fertile.

Fun Facts

The common name of this plant is in reference to the cinnamon-colored fibers found near the frond bases.


Likes part shade to full shade. Prefers moist, rich, humus rich, acidic soils, but adapts to lesser conditions. Rabbit tolerant.

Ecosystem Connections

Rabbit and deer tolerant

Human Connections

Consider planting native ferns, such as these in your shade garden, or any shady area since they are deer-proof.

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