Cinnamon Fern is an ancient, widespread and handsome fern native to North and South America as well as to Asia. It is found in swamps and moist woodlands as well as in upland gardens, in acidic soils from wet to moist/well drained. The fiddleheads of the fertile fronds, covered with cinnamon-colored pubescence, unfurl and rise first in the spring, forming a vase-shaped display of the sterile, pinnately compound fronds. These are often 2-3 feet high, but in wet habitats they can reach 5 feet. This fern can take more sun if moisture is consistently available. The fertile fronds arising in the center remain erect after the dying back of the sterile fronds in fall. In nature, large colonies, formed by means of stout rhizomes, produce masses of wiry root material which are harvested and used as a substrate for epiphytic plants such as orchids. Osmunda fiber, used in the potting of orchids, comes from the roots of these ferns. Some sources say the common name refers to the cinnamon-colored pubescence of the fiddleheads in spring; others say it refers to the tuft of cinnamon pubescence at the base of the sterile fronds; still others attribute the name to the color of the fronds in fall, or to the color of the fertile fronds! Like for all common names, it’s our choice.