Osmunda cinnamomea - Cinnamon Fern

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Deer ResistantBird Friendly Rain GardenPart Shade
Cinnamon Fern
Osmunda cinnamomea

Cinnamon fern is a regal, upright, vase-shaped fern with lustrous green fronds. Showy, spore-bearing, stiff, fertile fronds appear in early spring and turn quickly bright cinnamon-brown, hence its common name. Ferns provide seasonal cover and hiding places for ground frequenting birds such as ovenbirds, waterthrushes, wood thrushes, Kentucky and hooded warblers, robins and Carolina wrens.

  • Provides seasonal cover for birds and other wildlife
  • Thrives in moist soil, from full sun to partial shade
  • These plants spread very slowly, so can be used as a companion plant with other natives
  • Fronds are used in fresh arrangements

Native Range

Wet woods, ponds, streams and ditches; Labrador to Minnesota south to Texas and Florida.

Map Credit: The Biota of North America 
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)



Hummingbirds use the fine, hairy fibers from these stems to make a soft, silky lining for their nests.




Grow in part to full shade. Tolerates full sun with sufficient moisture. Prefers acidic, rich soil with constant moisture but adapts in less favorable conditions. Grows well in wet areas, near streams or ponds. May be slow to get established but plants are very long-lived.


Mature Size: 2-3ft. Tall x 2-3ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 3-9

Sun Exposure: Part Shade

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