This fabulous decorative fern is probably the best of all for architectural effect, and although it looks tender, it is in fact completely hardy, improving in stature yearly. The "Royal" name derives from its being one of the largest and most imposing hardy European ferns. This unique, deciduous, herbaceous plant which produces separate fertile and sterile fronds, is now very rare as a result of wetland drainage for agriculture. It is sometimes known as flowering fern due to the appearance of its fertile, spore-producing fronds which appear on the ENDS of the fronds, (rather than underneath,) producing a most attractive contrast. The family Osmundaceae is an isolated and primitive group with no close relations, Osmundaceae fossils being known from as far back as the Permian (290-248 million years ago), while modern Osmunda fossils have been found in Upper Cretaceous sediments (up to 65 million years ago).
Sow the seeds (which are correctly called spores) onto damp sterilised compost or even pure peat. Cover the tray or pot with a sheet of paper and keep at around 15 degrees C, or 60 F in lowish light levels. Within 4-8 weeks the surface of the growing medium should be covered in a green fuzz and resemble a small billiards table. The characteristic heart shaped gametophytes will slowly emerge which is the first stage of growth for ferns. Tiny sporophytes, the next stage, will soon then appear. The best survival rate when potting on is achieved if you wait for these to be about 3-4 cm high.
Common name:Old World Royal fern, Flowering fern, Royal fern, Regal fern
Packet Content:HUNDREDS (Approx)