Royal Fern is a non-flowering fern that can grow to three feet tall. It grows best in medium to wet soils in part to full shade. It can tolerate acidic soils and even standing water. It is a tall deciduous fern that you can find in the wild along streams beds and moist bluffs.
Fronds will turn yellow to brown in the fall. Spores are found in brown clusters at the tips of the fronds. Osmunda fiber used in the potting of orchid comes from the fibrous roots of the Royal Fern.
The Cherokee would take the fronds in the spring and fry them in fact or use them in a salad uncooked. An infusion of the fronds was used to treat intestinal worms.