Fern, interrupted

Osmunda claytoniana
A large, coarse fern growing in clumps. The large, arching, outer sterile leaves are twice cut and the sub-leaflets are oblong and round tipped, The central leaves are even larger, 3-4’ long, and have both sterile and fertile leaflets. The 4 or 5 darker green, fertile leaflets are in the mid portion of the leaf and point upward. These leaves are literally packed with globular, stalked, spore cases and soon turn brown and wither, falling off by early summer, leaving an “interrupted” area. Found in relatively dry woods, shady roadsides.