- Family: royal fern (Osmundaceae)
- Habitat: wet soil -- along streams and lakeshores, in bogs, and in wet meadows
- Height: 2-5 feet
- Location of spores: on fertile leaflets, which are at the ends of the fronds; they are initially green, turning light brown after release of the spores.
- Petiole (leaf stalk): smooth, slender, and pale green, tan, or pinkish
- Growth pattern: symmetric clump
- Persistence: deciduous
- Origin: native
The dark green leaflets are the fertile leaflets, which contain spores. The spores themselves are green and capable of photosynthesis. After the spores have been released, the fertile leaflets turn light brown.