Clayton's Interrupted Fern

Osmunda claytoniana

Family: Osmundaceae
Genus: Osmunda (os-MUN-duh) (Info)
Species: claytoniana (klay-ton-ee-AH-na) (Info)
Synonym:Osmundastrum claytonianum
Synonym:Plenasium claytonianum
Synonym:Struthiopteris claytoniana
Synonym:Osmunda interrupta




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:



Grown for foliage

Other details:

This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From spores

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Decatur, Georgia

Deerfield, Illinois

Lisle, Illinois

Pinconning, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Media, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Blountville, Tennessee

Leesburg, Virginia

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 19, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Very similar in appearance and cultural needs to cinnamon fern (O. cinnamomea) except for the distinctively "interrupted" fronds, which have short-lived fertile leaflets over the middle third of the stipe.

Deciduous, clump-forming, it does not spread.


On Feb 3, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

Native to temperate North America and Asia, it is supposed to be a slowly spreading clump. The fertile leaflets, bearing the spores, appear in the middle of the fronds, turn brown, fall off, and leave a vacant area, thus the common name of "interrupted."


On Aug 9, 2009, Marlina from Blaine, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

What is so nice about this fern is it doesn't spread like some of the others so if you just want a certain amount around the garden that is what it gives you. Some of your tall ferns are so aggressive .Not This One I have had the same three for eight years still look the same I don't pay any special attention to them at all and they seem fin.


On Jul 29, 2009, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

This species doesn't multiply itself under normal garden conditions - when established it lasts even dry spells. It names comes from the fact that it start with sterile fronds then changed to fertile fronds then back to sterile frond the further up a stem you go thus the interruption in the sterile fronds.


On Oct 24, 2007, Cretaceous from El Sobrante, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Native to Canada (Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec), the eastern-half of the United States (Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia), Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China.

Listed as a threatened species in the state of Arkansas, and as exploitably vulnerable in the state of New York.


On Dec 7, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Just an interesting note about this plant. Its roots are used as a growing medium for orchids and other epiphytes.

It is a large deciduous fern native to the U.S.