Pellaea atropurpurea

Botanical Name : Pellaea atropurpurea
Family: Pteridaceae
Genus: Pellaea Link
Species: P. atropurpurea
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales

Common Name :Purple-stem cliffbrake or Just purple cliffbrake,Rockbrake

Habitat :Pellaea atropurpurea is  native to U.S. Occur in crevices of limestone and dolomite outcrops, bluffs, boulders, and sinkholes. Sometimes in dry soils adjacent to dolomite glades.

Description:
This fern produces clumps of widely arching fronds. The stipe and rachis of the blade are purple, while the blade itself has a blue-gray tinge to it. The upper pinnae are long, narrow, and undivided, while the lower ones are divided into 3-15 pinnules. The pinnae are, for the most part, opposite. Fertile fronds are longer and more heavily divided. They produce sori, which lack a true indusium, within the inrolled margins of the pinnae.

This plant may be distinguished from the similar Pellaea glabella by its hairier nature and larger form.

Stems – Rhizomes compact, scaly. The scales ferruginous, linear.

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Leaves – Leaves to 50cm long but often seen much shorter. Rachis deep purplish-brown, densely pubescent (mostly at the base). The hairs ferruginous and curling. Base of hairs often pustulate. Pinnae opposite, with petiolules (except for terminal pinna), the lowest often 1-2 times divided, +/-3cm long, hastate or linear to oblong (depending on fertility), deep green and glabrous adaxially, light green-blue abaxially with a few hairs on the midrib. Margins distinctly revolute and creating a false indusium for the sporangia. Sporangia many, marginal, brown, -.2mm in diameter when coiled, with +/-20(32) spores.

Rachis close-up.

Abaxial surface of pinna with sporangia.

Flowering – Spores produced June – September.

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of it, taken moderately, has proved efficient in diarrhea, dysentery, night-sweats, and hemorrhages; and, used as a local application, it is beneficial in obstinate and ill-conditioned ulcers, ulcerations of the mouth and fauces, and as a vaginal injection in leucorrhea. A strong decoction is in repute as a remedy for worms. A powerful astringent infusion may be made by adding 4 drachms of the plant to 1 pint of boiling water, and which has been used in diarrhea and dysentery, in 1/2 fluid ounce doses, repeated every 2 or 3 hours, with success. A tincture of the fresh entire plant is suggested in from 1 to 10-drop doses. Efficacious in diarrhea, dysentery, night sweats, to remove worms and as a vaginal injection in leukorrhea, suppression of the lochia, etc.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.missouriplants.com/Ferns/Pellaea_atropurpurea_page.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pellaea_atropurpurea
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

http://www.sbs.utexas.edu/bio406d/images/pics/pte/pellaea_atropurpurea.htm

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