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Osmunda regalis - L.

Common Name Royal Fern, Flowering Fern
Family Osmundaceae
USDA hardiness 4-9
Known Hazards Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[200]. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase[172].
Habitats Swampy areas, fens and damp woodland[187].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Norway south and east to N. Africa, Asia, N. and S. America.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Osmunda regalis Royal Fern, Flowering Fern


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Osmunda regalis Royal Fern, Flowering Fern
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Summary

Form: Irregular or sprawling, Spreading or horizontal, Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of fern
Osmunda regalis is a FERN growing to 2 m (6ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. The seeds ripen from June to August.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Astringent  Diuretic  Tonic  Vulnerary

The root is astringent, diuretic, tonic and vulnerary[4, 7, 21]. It is useful in the treatment of jaundice and removing obstructions of the viscera[4]. The fronds are used to make compresses for external application to wounds and rheumatic joints - for which purposes they are fairly effective[7]. An infusion of the fronds, combined with wild ginger roots (Asarum species) has been used in the treatment of children with convulsions caused by intestinal worms[257].

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Other Uses

Compost  Fibre

The hairs of the plant are mixed with wool and are used in making cloth[46, 61]. The roots are the source of 'Osmunda fibre', this was once widely used for potting orchids and other epiphytes[200]. Plants can be grown as a ground cover when spaced about 1 metre apart each way[208].

Special Uses

Ground cover

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Rock garden, Specimen, Woodland garden. An easily grown plant[4, 187], it prefers a soil of swamp mud and loamy or fibrous peat, sand and loam[1, 4]. Succeeds in most moist soils, preferring acid conditions[200]. Requires a constant supply of water, doing well by ponds, streams etc[1]. Plants thrive in full sun so long as there is no shortage of moisture in the soil and also in shady situations beneath shrubs etc[200]. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c, they are evergreen in warm winter areas but deciduous elsewhere[200]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233]. Transplants well, even when quite large[4]. Some named forms have been selected for their ornamental value[187]. Special Features:Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant, There are no flowers or blooms.

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Propagation

Spores - they very quickly lose their viability (within 3 days) and are best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil in a lightly shaded place in a greenhouse. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Plants develop very rapidly, pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep humid until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old. Cultivars usually come true to type[200]. Division of the rootstock in the dormant season. This is a very strenuous exercise due to the mass of wiry roots[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Osmunda asiatica  0.0 -  LMHSNM00 
Osmunda cinnamomeaCinnamon FernFern0.6 4-8 MLMHSNMWe21 
Osmunda claytonianaInterrupted FernFern0.5 3-7  LMHSNMWe21 
Osmunda japonicaZenmaiFern1.0 5-9  LMHSNMWe20 

 

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Botanical References

17200

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