Interrupted Fern

Osmunda claytoniana

May

Spring

A large vase shaped fern that grows in shade to part shade in open moist woods and swamp edges. In spring, as fern fronds are erupting out of the ground, black bears bite off the fronds low, eat the stem, and drop the fiddlehead.  Later, when the frond is mature, bears sometimes strip the fronds sideways through their mouth.