Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis, Royal Fern

Pictures to Come!
Royal Fern has been so common in the conventional plant trade that many don't recognize it as one of North America's native species growing from eastern Minnesota to the Atlantic, north into Canada, and south to the Gulf of Mexico. While more likely to be found in the boreal forests of northeastern Minnesota, it can also be found between the Mississippi and St. Croix into Hennepin County. I bet it is more likely to be found in gardens in metro Minneapolis than it is in natural areas, but don't let that ubiquity stop you from enjoying this great fern.

Some folks don't even recognize it as a fern due to its un-fern-like, airy fronds. While this is definitively a wetland species, growing in woodland swamps and stream banks, it also does well in the home garden. I've had one for years, in nearly full sun and planted in clay that catches rain from a small roof. It has survived our recent droughts too, and has slowly increased two two plants over the last 6 years. Grow it!

Height: 2.5 to 4 feet

Conditions: sun to shade, wet to medium soils