Sp. Pl. 2: 1066. 1753.
Leaves pinnate-pinnatifid; petioles slightly shorter than blades, not winged, with light brown hairs when young, glabrate with age. Sterile leaves ovate to lanceolate, ca. 0.3–1.5 m; pinnae broadly oblong with persistent tuft of hairs on abaxial surface at base; ultimate segments with base obtuse, margins entire, apex usually mucronate. Fertile leaves with no expanded pinnae, green, becoming brownish, shorter and narrower than sterile leaves, withering after sporulation. Sporangia brown. 2n =44.
Phenology: Sporulation spring–early summer (late summer, early winter in Florida).
Habitat: Moist areas, acidic soils, frequently in vernal seeps
Elevation: 0–2300 m
St. Pierre and Miquelon, N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis., Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, Asia.
Many forms of Osmunda cinnamomea have been described from within the flora area. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental.