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Osmunda claytoniana

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Common Name: Interrupted Fern

2-3 feet tall by 2-3 feet spread. Part shade to full shade and tolerates heavy shade; moderately wet to moderately dry moisture level; prefers rich, humusy soil but adapts well to lesser conditions; acidic to neutral pH.

Maintenance: Low

Growth/Colonizing Habit: Spreads by heavy rhizomes that can slowly form large colonies. Propagate by rhizome division in fall or early spring.

Foliage: Deciduous

Native Region: Concentrated in East Tennessee

Easy-to-grow, vase-shaped fern that can reach 5-6 feet height with constant moisture. Broad fronds are interrupted in the middle by spore-bearing leaflets which usually fall off in mid-summer, leaving a gap, hence the common name. Prefers moist, average-to-rich soil in part sun or shade but will grow in dry, stony soil and can take slightly drier sites in part sun. Prefers some protection from prevailing winds. Occurs naturally on moist, wooded slopes of ravines, moist sandstone ledges and wet woodlands.

Interrupted Fern - Osmunda claytoniana 2
Photo Courtesy of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center http://www.wildflower.org/
Interrupted Fern - Osmunda claytoniana
Photo Courtesy of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center http://www.wildflower.org/