There are many plants separated at birth by the giant continental divorce and Osmunda japonica appears to be one of the orphans. In form, it closely resembles our native Osmunda regalis except that the pinnae (fern leaves) are much thicker and more pointed. Additionally, the upright, deciduous fronds rarely exceed 3' tall. Unlike Osmunda regalis whose fronds can be part fertile and part un-fertile, O. japonica chose an either/or option like O. cinnamomea. Rich, moist soils will produce the largest clumps.