June 06, 2006

Cinnamon fern

Cinammon fern

Cinamon fern unfurlingCinnamon fern, Osmunda cinnamomea, certainly deserves its name! The fertile fronds look like they are made of ground cinnamon, adding a welcome touch of spice to a green, shady spot.

Like the other osmunda in my garden, the royal fern, the cinnamon fern develops a tough fibrous root ball that is clearly visible and makes it easy to identify. It is said to spread by rhizomes, but I certainly haven't seen any evidence of this yet. It definitely is not in the same league as ostrich ferns, which spread to the point of being invasive.

A rather strange thing happened with one of mine this year. The fertile fronds on both my cinnamon ferns, which are side by side, emerged during a prolonged period of cool, rainy weather (twice as much rain as normal), one slightly sooner than another. Osmunda cinamomeaUnder normal circumstances my fern corner does get a couple of hours of midday sun. When the rain finally stopped, we got a brief heat wave and the browning fronds wilted immediately. They just weren't used to light that intense. On the larger of the ferns, it must have caught them at a particularly vulnerable time; they have never recovered. The other came back nicely and has had little trouble since.

If you like the elegant vase shape of ostrich ferns, but would like something that keeps to its allotted space, the cinnamon fern is a great choice.


Jennifer Sal said...

I have been looking for something that will stay inplace near the patio area, i have just placed aluminium garden furniture below the patio and want some nice plants around it without it spreading too far and taking over the whole area.

Kalipso said...

I just love ferns and have them in my garden too. Osmunda is wonderful. Love your blog.