Apr. 28, 2022

cinnamon fern, Osmundastrum cinnamomeum

Cinnamon fern is an old friend made new again? Until recently, this was Osmunda cinnamomea. Then the gene splitters went to work, and showed us that cinnamon fern wasn't as closely related to other Osmunda as we figured. Osmundastrum, Campanulastrum, the estrangements just keep coming. But cinnamon fern is truly an old companion. It has been a food source and medicine through the ages. The spring fiddleheads are a good veggie. For example, the Menominee simmered the new fronds to remove bugs, the added them to soups or stews. Medically, some of the uses included colds, arthritis, snake bite, and general malaise. Cinnamon fern grows in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, LB, NB, NF, NS, ON, PE, QC, and on SPM; also in east Asia. Lenawee Co MI, 5/24/15.