A large fern found on neutral or acidic substrates in fen-carr woodland and ditches, and on riverbanks and rocky lake shores. In W. Ireland it also grows in wet fields, mires and, more rarely, on limestone sea-cliffs. It is often confined to inaccessible sites in grazed areas. Lowland to 365 m in S. Kerry.
O. regalis was heavily collected in Victorian times for cultivation and osmunda fibre. This, and habitat loss, caused its decline, though it is now recovering in some areas and few sites have been lost since the 1962 Atlas. It is also planted and occurs as a garden escape.
Suboceanic Southern-temperate element; also in E. Asia and N. America.
Light (Ellenberg): 6
Moisture (Ellenberg): 9
Reaction (Ellenberg): 5
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 4.2
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.5
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1225
Height (cm): 160
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 735
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 576
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 4
Atlas Change Index: 0.56
Weighted Changed Factor: -19
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1972)
1978. Ferns and their allies. The Island of Mull: a survey of its flora and environment. :12.1-12.7.
1999. Britain's rare flowers.
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
1997. The ferns of Britain and Ireland, edn 2.