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Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)

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Hardy fern grow sheet
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Osmunda claytoniana

interrupted fern

Sturdy fronds are "interrupted" by masses of dark brown spores
Native woodland fern hardy to Zone 2
Clumping habit
Best in acidic soil with consistent moisture
Deer resistant
Easy to grow

Broad green fronds are “interrupted” in the middle by spore-bearing pinnae (leaflets) in early summer, hence the common name. Forming a lovely spreading vase habit, this low-maintenance native fern makes a distinctive addition to the shade border or woodland garden.

Osmunda claytoniana LP32 - 32 per flat Availability
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2-4 Feet


2-3 Feet


12-18 Inches

Bloom Color

USDA Hardiness Zone 2-8

interrupted fern Interesting Notes

Osmunda claytoniana, the interrupted fern, is an aptly named species with tall 2–4 foot deciduous, sturdy fronds that are "interrupted" when fertile by a shaggy mass of spores (originally dark but fading to tan) midway between the bottom and top of the foliage. It is a North American native that widely colonizes in colder areas. (Alert visitors will find it at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin in Wisconsin, for example.) This is an easy doer that is especially popular for those just getting started with a fern garden. Give it traditional woodland conditions and enjoy its unique fertile silhouette in Zones 2–8. - Casa Flora

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Shade
Full Shade
Part Sun
Part Sun
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Green Infrastructure
Bioretention/Rain Garden
Native to North America
Propagation Type
Tissue culture