Herbs & Plants

Asplenium ceterach

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Botanical Name : Asplenium ceterach
Family: Aspleniaceae
Genus: Asplenium
Species: A. ceterach
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Pteridopsida
Order: Blechnales

Synonyms : Ceterach officinarum DC.

Common Names :   Rustyback,Rusty Back Fern

Habitat : Asplenium ceterach  is found in Western and Central Europe, including the Mediterranean region. It is associated with fissures in carbonate rocks and also grows on the mortar of stone and brick walls .

Rhizome: erect, branching, scales clathrate.

Frond: 15 cm high by 2 cm wide, evergreen, monomorphic, blade/stipe ratio: 8:1.

Stipe: green, from base all up the rachis, scaly, vascular bundles: 2 C-shaped, back to back, uniting to 1 upwards to an X-shape.

Blade: pinnatifid, lanceolate, leathery, deep green upper surface, scales dense, light brown, entirely covering the lower surface.

Pinnae: 6 to 12 pair, alternate; margins entire or sometimes irregularly crenate, slightly bending upwards, revealing the scales; veins netted, veins closing near the margins, not visible without removing the scales.

Sori: linear, along veins, indusium: vestigial, replaced by scales, sporangia: dark brown, maturity: late summer, then overwintering to maturity early .
Dimensionality: a rosette, fairly flat on the ground.


Medicinal Uses:
In the eighteenth century the leaves were official in some pharmacopoeias, as its botanical name indicates. Infusions from the fern are particularly helpful to sufferers from dysuria (difficulty in passing urine) when oxalic acid is present, and to prevent colic caused by kidney stones.  A syrup made from the fern is sometimes used to treat lung infections, but it is less effective than maidenhair.  The whole plant is widely used in the Mediterranean to treat gravel in the urine and is also used with other mucilaginous plants to treat bronchial complaints.

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.


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