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Osmunda regalis
  • RHS AGM

royal fern

O. regalis is a robust deciduous fern forming a large clump of bipinnate fronds to 2.5m in height, bearing rusty-brown spore-bearing pinnae at the tips; foliage turns attractive red-brown in autumn

Other common names
blooming fern
bog onion
see morebuckhorn brake
common flowering fern
ditch fern
herb Christopher
hog onion
kidney fern
king fern
osmund royal
osmund the waterman
royal osmund fern
rusty fern
water fern
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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Poorly–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Green
Autumn Brown Red
Winter
Position
  • Full shade
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or North–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Osmundaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Osmunda are medium-sized to large deciduous ferns, usually from wet places, with erect or arching, pinnate or bipinnate fronds, bearing spores either on modified pinnae or on separate, smaller fronds

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Cosmopolitan

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How to grow

Cultivation

Easy to grow in most cool, moist, lightly shaded sites and will grow in full sun if given plenty of moisture. Will tolerate alkaline soils if plenty of fibrous compost is incorporated. Useful for very wet sites

Propagation

Propagate by sowing spores as soon as ripe or by division in early spring or autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

Dead or damaged fronds may be removed as necessary

Pests

Generally pest free outdoors

Diseases

Generally disease free outdoors

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