Plant – Cinnamon Fern Fiddleheads

Cinnamon Ferns (Osmunda cinnamomea) have unfurled during the warmth of the last few weeks. I love walking along woodland paths bordered by these feathery green plants. The fronds appear stately as they hold their spiky ‘cinnamon’ spores high; a scepter covered with the possibility of new life.

Quite often I will find Cinnamon Ferns and Skunk Cabbage growing in the same area.

“The Osmundastrum cinnamomeum fern forms huge clonal colonies in swampy areas. These ferns form massive rootstocks with densely matted, wiry roots. This root mass is an excellent substrate for many epiphytal plants. They are often harvested as osmunda fiber and used horticulturally, especially in propagating and growing orchids. Cinnamon Ferns do not actually produce cinnamon; they are named for the color of the fertile fronds.”
~ Wikipedia

Cinnamon ferns are called fiddleheads in the beginning stages of their unfurling. Here are a few photos of the stages of their growth.

Chefs can create gourmet dishes out of fiddleheads. I’m not sure which variety of fern they use, but think it must be a well-remembered dining experience by anyone who tries this culinary treat.

14 thoughts on “Plant – Cinnamon Fern Fiddleheads

    1. Kilby

      Supply grocers & chefs with fiddleheads in western Quebec & eastern Ontario every spring for 25 years. Only the ostrich fern variety! (Matteuccia struthiopteris)
      Has distinctive v on stem similar to celery stock, more of a brown papery chaff than the whitish wooley cover on cinnamon fern. Seed fronds don’t grow out of crown centre, like these do & are darker brown, than cinnamon color and more feather shaped. Also Health Canada warns that they require being boiled for 8-10 minutes for safe consumption. Bon Appetite! 😉


  1. Kathy,
    This is new information for me. Your woodlands are beautiful and the woods are lovely, seemingly dark and deep with rays of sunshine peeping through the leaves. The fiddleheads seem to be popping up to welcome the sunlight.
    I wish I could walk along your woodland paths too !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you would enjoy them Susie. When the green leaves are out and the sun shines through them onto the forest floor…the whole area truly looks like a cathedral. The fiddleheads are so interesting and then turn into really beautiful ferns. Kathy

      Liked by 1 person

Thanks so much for your comments. They fill my life with sunshine.

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