Osmunda cinnamomea is a fern from the end of stout, fibrous, rhizome.
Leaves in rosettes; 60-120 cm long, young leaf stalk densely wooly, sterile blades oblong, pinnate, to 30 cm wide, tip pointed, leaflets (pinnae), 15-25 per side, stalkless, narrowly oblong, to 15 cm long, 3 cm wide, deeply pinnately lobed, tips blunt to pointed.
Spore cases red-brown, covering the narrow, fertile fronds that arise in the center of sterile rosette, dusty with spores in Spring, withering in summer.
Wetland status: FACW.
Frequency in NYC: Frequent.
Origin: Native to NYC.
Habitat: Shady, moist to saturated soil in swamp forest herb layer, subacid soil. Found in moist to wet forest soil pH 4.8-6.2 (Gargiullo, unpublished data).
Notes: Occasionally eaten by rabbits. A host of the white-spored fir rust Uredinopsis osmundae (a fir-fern rust, Basidiomycotina) (Sinclair et al. 1987; Bailey et al. 1976). Sometimes planted in restorations. *Not actually flowering. A common name for the family Osmundaceae or ferns with showy sporangia.