Osmundastrum cinnamomeum

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Osmundastrum cinnamomeum
Osmunda cinnamomea BM.JPG
Photo by John B hosted at Bluemelon.com/poaceae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta – Ferns
Class: Filicopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Osmundaceae
Genus: Osmundastrum
Species: O. cinnamomeum
Binomial name
Osmundastrum cinnamomeum
Natural range of Osmundastrum cinnamomeum from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common Name: cinnamon fern[1][2]

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: O. cinnamomea Linnaeus; O. cinnamomea var. cinnamomea; O. cinnamomea Linnaeus var. glandulosa Waters; O. cinnamomea var. glandulosum (waters) McAvoy


Osmunda cinnamomea is a perennial fern that grows as a forb/herb.[2] Sterile fronds increase their photosynthesis rates in the spring where they level off around 6-8 µmol m-2 s-1. Fertile fronds mature quicker and reached dark respiration rates 2-3 times greater than sterile fronds.[3]


This species can be found from Newfoundland and Labrador westward to Ontario and Minnesota, southward to southern Florida and central Texas. It is also in Mexico, southward through Central America to northern South America, in the West Indies, and in eastern Asia.[1]



O. cinnamomeum occurs in bogs, peatlands, pocosins, wet savannas, floodplains, blackwater stream swamps,[1] swamps, marshes, and open and wet woods.[4]


In the southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States, O. cinnamomeum flowers from March through May.[1] On the Florida panhandle, the species has been observed flowering in April.[5]

Use by animals

In China, fronds from O. cinnamomeum are cooked in stir-fry type dishes and consumed by people.[6] White-tailed deer are also reported to consume the fern.[7] The broad-winged hawk will collect sprigs for its nest of several plants and ferns, including O. cinnamomeum. These sprigs are likely used to maintain a clean lining for the nestling.[8]

Conservation and Management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Weakley AS (2015) Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  2. 2.0 2.1 USDA NRCS (2016) The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 09 February 2018). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
  3. Britton MR, Watkins Jr. JE (2016) The economy of reproduction in dimorphic ferns. Annals of Botany 118:1139-1149.
  4. Correll DS (1938) A county check-list of Florida ferns and fern allies. American Fern Journal 28(1):11-16.
  5. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. www.gilnelson.com/PanFlora/ Accessed: 9 FEB 2018
  6. Liu Y, Wujisguleng W, Long C (2012) Food uses of ferns in China: A review. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae 81(4):263-270.
  7. Atwood EL (1941) White-tailed deer foods of the United States. The Journal of Wildlife Management 5(3):314-332.
  8. Heinrich B (2013) Why does a hawk build with green nesting material? Northeastern Naturalist 20(2):209-218.