Osmunda regalis is a very distinctive fern. The
fronds can exceed 1 meter in length and the blades are 2-pinnate.
The pinnules are attached by a
very narrow base. Fertile fronds are similar to the sterile
fronds, in the lower and middle portions, but the top-most
pinnae are fertile and they are much reduced and brown when
mature (early summer).
O. regalis ranges from Newfoundland to Ontario, south
to Texas and Florida. In Wisconsin it is common throughout the
state in wet forests and bogs, and less often in wet, sunny sites.