Osmunda regalis

Osmunda regalis L.

Common Names: Royal Fern

Family: Osmundaceae

Habit: Osmunda regalis grows from a short creeping to slightly erect rhizome producing fibrous roots. The glabrous, rigid, erect fronds are clustered on the short rhizome and are up to 2 m. in length (usually shorter), to 20 cm wide, elliptical to oblong, and are bipinnately compound. The lower 2-6 pairs of sterile pinnae, are to 10 cm wide, and up to 30 cm long.  The sessile, alternate to subopposite, subpinnae are ovate to lanceolate with a serrulate margin. 

The upper fertile pinnae are in dense panicles of linear/cylindrical pinnae covered with sporangia that turn dark drown at maturity.

Habitat: Osmunda regalis in Fresh Water Wetlands and seeps.

Distribution Osmunda regalis occurs on only a single island in the Lucayan Archipelago (Grand Bahama).  It also occurs throughout North America, the Caribbean region and Central and South America

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Osmunda regalis is not known to be used medicinally in the Bahamas.