Family:     Osmundaceae (Royal fern family)

Duration:  Perennial

Height:     0.5 - 1.8 m (1.5 - 6 ft)


Royal fern

Osmunda regalis spectabilis (Willd.) A. Gray

Leaves: two different leaves are exhibited on the royal fern; fertile leaves which are erect, light green and differentiate at the top by having reduced tannish-brown pinnae, whereas the sterile leaves look like the lower part of the fertile leaves with winged stalks and bipinnately compound leaf blades.


Etymology:  The name Osmunda is thought to come from the Saxon name for the Celtic god, Osmunder, or better known as "Thor".  Regalis means royal in Latin and the variation, spectabilis, means "remarkable" in Latin.

all photos by Nathanael Pilla

Landscape:  A large and luxurious fern that demands attention in your landscape.  It needs wet soil and is found many times in swamps and marshes.  

Species Present and Native
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The mission of Save the Dunes is to preserve, protect and restore the Indiana dunes and all natural resources in Northwest Indiana’s Lake Michigan Watershed for an enhanced quality of life.

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