cinnamon fern

Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern) is a regionally native fern that creates a dramatic accent in the landscape. The fuzzy fronds unfurl from fiddleheads in early spring, then become soft pinnate fronds.

The inner leaves are fertile fronds which develop a dark cinnamon color and a have a fibrous texture. The outer leaves are sterile and contrast with the darker fronds. Over time, cinnamon fern gains height, especially in most and shady conditions, potentially reaching 6 feet in height. Lurie Garden has this fern interplanted with our Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica) to give the area some added height during the late season months when this sedge is not as interesting on its own.

Botanical Name Osmunda cinnamomea
Common Name cinnamon fern
Family Osmundaceae
USDA Zone 3 thru 9
Light Requirement Part Shade to Full Shade
Season(s) of interest spring, summer, fall
Height and Spread 2-6ft x 2-3ft (60-180cm x 60-90cm)
Flower Color Non-Flowering
Attracts Wildlife Rarely Browsed by Mammalian Herbivores
Additional Information Native to Chicago Region. Also known as Osmundastrum cinnamomeum.
Location in Lurie Garden Southwest Dark Plate, East Dark Plate