Transformational Gardening

Disclaimer: Foraging can be fun, rewarding and provide health benefits. As a novice forager, I will be sharing my foraging experiences. However, in order to be safe, always consult with local foraging experts and guidebooks before beginning foraging. Children should learn to forage safely by being guided by experienced adults. Never ingest anything unless you are certain of the identification and safety of the plant. Some plant species are inedible and some are poisonous.

Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda cinnamomea) (Also known as: Osmundastrum cinnamomeum)

: Images
Date Location Notes Images
May 26, 2012 Southeastern, New Hampshire Other than Sensative Fern (Onoclea sensibilis), which is easy to identify, this is my very first fern identification that I have done on my own! I was not planning on identifying ferns, but that big cinnamon-colored center part of the fern rosette made identification possible. Cinnamon Fern has a circular rosette of leaves (called fronds) that are infertile and then one or more central, cinnamon-colored fertile fronds (that release spores).

Each large leaf has many leaflets that get smaller as they approach the tip of the leaf. In the first top picture (above), to the right, we are looking at the back of part of one leaflet. There is hairy fuzz where the leaflet connects to the leaf stem. Some people call this “hairy armpits” and is a significant identifying feature of Cinnamon Fern. Notice that the leaflets are very deeply cut, almost into leafules (leaflets of leaflets), but not quite. Identification keys include: “hairy armpits”; thin, cinnamon-colored fertile frond; and leaflets of infertile front coming to a point (see last picture below).