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.
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