Fern, Interrupted (Osmunda Claytoniana)


Osmunda claytoniana is found in humid zones, mostly in forests, but also in more open habitats and biomes, although rarely in bogs. The interrupted fern is often found alongside  ostrich, cinnamon and sensitive ferns.

Fruiting bodies are produced on the lower portion of the fronds in between the pinnae (leaf blades), giving this distinctive fern its name. In spring, the newly emerging silvery-white “fiddleheads” are striking in appearance. Interrupted Fern (Osmunda claytoniana) does best in moderately damp acid soils, but adapts well to almost any good garden soil in part to full shade.

O. claytoniana is a paramount example of evolutionary stasis. Paleontological evidence indicates it has remained unchanged, even at the level of fossilized nuclei and chromosomes, for at least 180 million years.