Royal Fern

Royal_Fern_jpgAccording to folklore the spores, found at the end of the fonds, posses mythical properties that were most powerful during the summer and winter solstices. At Christmas the spores symbolized the hidden fire of the winter sun, while in summer fern spores collected within three days of Midsummer’s Eve were said to glow like gold or yellow fire.  Myth holds that whomever holds the spores on Midsummer’s Eve and climbs a mountain will discover a vein of gold.  In Russia, a similar tradition was that if the fern spores were tossed into the air on Midsummer’s Eve, treasure will be found buried at the spot where they fall. In Medieval textbooks, fern spores were believed to have the property of making a person who swallowed it invisible, defending against evil spirits, and protecting against thunder and lightning.  These beliefs encouraged growing ferns on walls and roofs of houses and placing fern leaves around door sills.

OtherCommonName:

ScientificName:

Osmunda regalis

Community:

Freshwater Wetlands

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Perennial

PlantHeight:

1.5 to 6 feet

FruitingTime:

Distribution:

Newfoundland to Florida ~ Statewide in NJ, especially common in northern uplands.

FloweringTime:

Mature spores mid-May to mid-June

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Rhizomes (underground stems) ~ Leaves divided into segments