Tag Archives: Fern

Anemone pulsatilla

Botanical Name: Anemone pulsatilla
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Pulsatilla
Species: P. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms: Pasque Flower. Wind Flower. Meadow Anemone. Passe Flower. Easter Flower.

Common Name: Pasque Flower

Habitat : Anemone pulsatilla is found not in woods, but in open situations. It grows wild in the dry soils of almost every Central and Northern country of Europe, but in England is rather a local plant, abounding on high chalk downs and limestone pastures, mostly in Yorkshire, Berkshire, Oxford and Suffolk, but seldom found in other situations and other districts in this country.

Description:
Anemone pulsatilla is an herbaceous perennial plant. It develops upright rhizomes, which function as food-storage organs. Its leaves and stems are long, soft, silver-grey and hairy. It grows to 15–30 cm high and when it is fruit-bearing up to 40 cm. The roots go deep into the soil (to 1 m). The finely-dissected leaves are arranged in a rosette and appear with the bell-shaped flower in early spring. The purple flowers are followed by distinctive silky seed-heads which can persist on the plant for many months.

The flower is ‘cloaked in myth’; one legend has it that Pasque flowers sprang up in places that had been soaked by the blood of Romans or Danes because they often appear on old barrows and boundary banks.

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The whole plant, especially the bases of the foot-stalks, is covered with silky hairs. It is odourless, but possesses at first a very acrid taste, which is less conspicuous in the dried herb and gradually diminishes on keeping. The majority of the leaves develop after the flowers; they are two to three times deeply three-parted or pinnately cleft to the base, in long, linear, acute segments.

The juice of the purple sepals gives a green stain to paper and linen, but it is not permanent. It has been used to colour the Paschal eggs in some countries, whence it has been supposed the English name of the plant is derived. Gerard, however, expressly informs us that he himself was ‘moved to name’ this the Pasque Flower, or Easter Flower, because of the time of its appearance, it being in bloom from April to June. The specific name, pulsatilla, from pulsc, I beat, is given in allusion to its downy seeds being beaten about by the wind.

Part used Medicinally:
The drug Pulsatilla, which is of highly valuable modern curative use as a herbal simple, is obtained not only from the whole herb of A. pulsatilla, but also from A. pratensis, the Meadow Anemone, which is closely allied to the Pasque Flower, differing chiefly in having smaller flowers with deeper purple sepals, inflexed at the top. It grows in Denmark, Germany and Italy, but not in England. It is recommended for certain diseases of the eye, like Pulsatilla, and is used in homoeopathy, but has been considered somewhat dangerous. The whole plant has a strong acrid taste, but is eaten by both sheep and goats, though cows and horses will not touch it. The leaves when bruised and applied to the skin raise blisters. A. patens, var. Nutalliana is also used for the same purpose as A. pulsatilla.

In each case, the whole herb is collected, soon after flowering, and should be carefully preserved when dried; it deteriorates if kept longer than one year.

Constituents:
The fresh plant yields by distillation with water an acrid, oily principle, with a burning, peppery taste, Oil of Anemone. A similar oil is obtained from Ranunculus bulbosus, R. flammula and R. sceleratus, which belong to the same order of plants. Its therapeutic value is not considered great. When kept for some time,this oily substance becomes decomposed into Anemonic acid and Anemonin. Anemonin is crystalline, tasteless and odourless when pure and melts at 152ø. The action of Pulsatilla is virtually that of this crystalline substance Anemonin, which is a powerful irritant, like cantharides, in overdoses causing violent gastro-enteritis. It is volatile in water vapour and is then irritative to the eyes and mouth. The Oil acts as a vescicant when applied to the skin. Anemonicacid appears to be inert. Anemonin sometimes causes local inflammation and gangrene when subcutaneously injected, vomiting and purging when given internally. It is, however, uncertain whether these symptoms are due to Anemonin itself or to some impurity in it. The chief action of pure Anemonin is a depressant one on the circulation, respiration and spinal cord, to a certain extent resembling that of Aconite. The symptoms are slow and feeble pulse, slow respiration, coldness, paralysis and death without convulsions. In poisoning by extract of Pulsatilla, convulsions are always present. Their absence in poisoning by pure Anemonin appears to be due to its paralysing action on motor centres in the brain.

Medicinal Uses:
Nervine, antispasmodic, alterative and diaphoretic.The tincture of Pulsatilla is beneficial in disorders of the mucous membrane, of the respiratory and of the digestive passages. Doses of 2 to 3 drops in a spoonful of water will allay the spasmodic cough of asthma, whooping-cough and bronchitis.

For catarrhal affection of the eyes, as well as for catarrhal diarrhoea, the tincture is serviceable. It is also valuable as an emmenagogue, in the relief of headaches and neuralgia, and as a remedy for nerve exhaustion in women.

It is specially recommended for fair, blue-eyed women.

It has been employed in the form of extract in some cutaneous diseases with much success; it is included in the British Pharmacopoeia and was formerly included in the United States Pharmacopoeia.

In homoeopathy it is considered very efficacious and even a specific in measles. It is prescribed as a good remedy for nettlerash and also for neuralgic toothache and earache, and is administered in indigestion and bilious attacks.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulsatilla_vulgaris
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/anemo035.html

http://www.outsidepride.com/seed/flower-seed/anemone/pasque-flower-seed.html

Aspidium spinulosum

Botanical Name: :Aspidium spinulosum
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Genus:     Dryopteris
Family:  Filices
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class:    Polypodiopsida /
Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order:     Dryopteridales

Common Name : Wood fern, Male fern,Shield fern,Buckler fern

Habitat :Aspidium spinulosum is a genus of about 250 species of ferns with distribution in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, with the highest species diversity in eastern Asia. Many of the species have stout, slowly creeping rootstocks that form a crown, with a vase-like ring of fronds. The sori are round, with a peltate indusium. The stipes have prominent scales.

Description:
The Prickly-toothed Shield Fern is allied to the Male Shield Fern, but is not so tall, about 8 to 14 inches, and has very much broader leaves. The rootstock is similar to Male Fern, but there are differences in the number of wood bundles in the stems, also in the hairs on the margins of the leaf-stalk scales. The fronds are more divided – twice or thrice pinnate – and are spinous, the pinnae generally opposite and the lowest pair much shorter than the others. The sori are circular, with kidney-shaped indusium, much smaller than in Filix-mas.
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The Prickly-toothed Shield Fern is moderately erect and firm and grows in masses, being common in sheltered places on moist banks and in open woods.

Medicinal Uses:
Dryopteris filix-mas was throughout much of recent human history widely used as a vermifuge, and was the only fern listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia.
The medicinal uses are as in Male Fern, with the rhizome of which, as imported from the Continent, it has always been much mixed.

Other Uses:
Many Dryopteris species are widely used as garden ornamental plants, especially D. affinis, D. erythrosora and D. filix-mas, with numerous cultivars.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dryopteris
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/ferns-08.html#shi

Polypodiurn vulgare

Botanical Name :  Polypodiurn vulgare
Family: Polypodiaceae
Genus: Polypodium
Species: P. vulgare
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida /Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order: Polypodiales

Synonyms: Polypody of the Oak. Wall Fern. Brake Root. Rock Brake. Rock of Polypody. Oak Fern.

Common Name :common polypody

Habitat :The common polypody is very common in France, where it is found up to an altitude of 2,000 metres (6,600 ft). It is also quite common in Scandinavia and Carpathian Mountains. It is present but less commonly found around the Mediterranean region.
It is an introduced species in New Zealand, that has begun to spread into the wild as an invasive species. It grows on Rocks, walls and trees, as well as on the ground, in a variety of habitats but especially in humid shady conditions.

Description:

Polypodium vulgare is an evergreen fern developing in isolation from along a horizontal rhizome. The fronds with triangular leaflets measure 10 to 50 centimetres.
It is hardy to zone 3. It is in leaf 12-Jan.

They are divided all the way back to the central stem in 10 to 18 pairs of segments or leaflets.

The leaflets become much shorter at the end of the frond. The leaflets are generally whole or slightly denticulated and somewhat wider at their base, where they often touch each other. They have an alternating arrangement, those on one side being slightly offset from those on the other side. The petioles have no scales.

The sori are found on the lower side of the fronds and range in colour from bright yellow to orange. They became dark grey at maturity.

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*Period of sporulation: July to September.
*Mode of dissemination: anemochory (wind dispersal).

P. vulgare is an allotetraploid species of hybrid origin, its parents being the diploids Polypodium appalachianum and Polypodium glycyrrhiza.

Cultivation:
Easily grown in most light soils. Prefers a soil of leaf mould and a cool but not too moist clay. Prefers a cool damp shady position. Thrives in dry shade. Established plants are drought tolerant. They grow well on drystone walls. Plants often grow as epiphytes. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. A rather variable plant, it is considered to be an aggregate species of several very similar species. Only the roots should be planted, the rhizome being fixed to the surface of the soil.

Propagation:                                            
Spores – best sown as soon as they are ripe, though they can also be sown in the spring. Sow them on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep humid until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old and then only in a very well sheltered position. Division. This is best done in the spring but it succeeds at most times of the year

Edible Uses:     
Edible Parts: Root.

Root. Very sweet, it contains sugars, tannin and oils. It is used as a liquorice adulterant. The root has a unique, rather unpleasant odour and a sweet (cloying) flavour at first though it quickly becomes nauseating. The root contains 15.5% saccharose and 4.2% glucose.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used Medicinally : The root, which is in perfection in October and November, though it may be collected until February. It is used both fresh and dried, and the leaves are also sometimes used.

Polypody stimulates bile secretion and is a gentle laxative. In European herbal medicine it is traditionally used as a treatment for hepatitis and jaundice and as a remedy for indigestion and loss of appetite. It should not be used externally since it can cause skin rashes. The root is alterative, anthelmintic, cholagogue, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, pectoral, purgative, tonic. It can be used either fresh or dried and is best harvested in October or November, though it can be collected until February. The leaves can also be used but are less active. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of pleurisy, hives, sore throats and stomach aches and as a mild laxative for children. It was also considered of value for lung ailments and liver diseases. The poulticed root is applied to inflammations. A tea or syrup of the whole plant is anthelmintic.

Other Uses:  
Insecticide;  Potash.
Plants can be grown as a ground cover in a shady position. They form a spreading carpet and are best spaced about 30cm apart each way. The ash of burnt leaves is rich in carbonate of potash

Known Hazards :  Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[200]. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/ferns-08.html#lad
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polypodium+vulgare
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polypodium_vulgare

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Scolopendrium vulgare

Botanical Name : Scolopendrium vulgare
Family: Aspleniaceae
Genus: Asplenium
Species: A. scolopendrium
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales

Synonyms:Phyllitis scolopendrium, Asplenium scolopendrium, .

Common Names :  Hart’s Tongue,Hart’s-tongue fern, Hind’s Tongue. Buttonhole. Horse Tongue. God’s-hair. Lingua cervina(its name refers to the shape of its fronds.)

Habitat : Scolopendrium vulgare is a common species in Europe, but in North America occurs as rare, widely scattered populations that have been given varietal status, A. scolopendrium var. americanum. Morphological differences are minor, but the North American populations are tetraploid, whereas those occurring in Europe are diploid.The plants grow on neutral and lime-rich substrates, including moist soil and damp crevices in old walls, most commonly in shaded situations but occasionally in full sun; plants in full sun are usually stunted and yellowish in colour, while those in full shade are dark green and luxuriant.

Description:
The plants are unusual in being ferns with simple, undivided fronds. The tongue-shaped leaves have given rise to the common name “Hart’s tongue fern”; a hart being an adult male red deer. The sori pattern is reminiscent of a centipede’s legs, and scolopendrium is Latin for “centipede”. The leaves are 10–60 cm long and 3–6 cm broad, with sori arranged in rows perpendicular to the rachis.The sori are in twin oblique lines, on each side of the midrib, covered by what looks like a single indusium, but really is two, one arranged partially over the other.
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In the early stages of its growth, the folding over of the indusium can be clearly seen through a lens. The fronds are stalked and the root, tufted, short and stout. This fern is evergreen and easy of cultivation.

Cultivation:  Moist banks and walls, rocks in damp shady places in woodlands, often on lime-rich soils.

Propagation: Spores – best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. The spores usually germinate in the spring. Spring sown spores germinate in 1 – 3 months at 15°C. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse. Keep the plants humid until they are well established. Once the plants are 15cm or more tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in the spring. Division in spring. Leaf bases – dig up the plant and wash off the soil until the old caudex covered with “dead” leaf bases can be clearly seen. Strip off these bases individually by peeling them down the caudex. At the point of attachment they will be green. Young plants can be raised by planting these leaf bases, green tip up, in a pot of loam-based compost and enclosing the pot in a plastic bag. Within one month green swellings will appear around the original point of attachment to the caudex, each of these will develop quite quickly into a young fern. It takes 3 months in summer but longer in winter.

Medicinal Uses:
This fern was recommended as a medicinal plant in folk medicine as a spleen tonic and for other uses.The fronds are astringent, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, vulnerary. Externally it is used as an ointment in the treatment of piles, burns and scalds. An infusion is taken internally for the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, gravelly deposits of the bladder and for removing obstructions of the liver and spleen. The fronds are harvested during the summer and can be dried for later use.

Other Uses:Scolopendrium vulgare is often grown as an ornamental plant, with several cultivars selected with varying frond form, including with frilled frond margins, forked fronds and cristate forms.A good ground cover plant for shady positions, so long as it is planted no more than 30cm apart each way. Plants form a slowly spreading clump. A decoction of the fronds is used cosmetically as a hair wash to counteract greasy skin and also as a face pack for delicate skin.

Known Hazards:  Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/ferns-08.html#lad
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scolopendrium_vulgare
http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/a/asplenium-scolopendrium=hart’s-tongue-fern.php

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Asplenium trichomanes

Botanical Name :  Asplenium trichomanes
Family: Aspleniaceae
Genus:     Asplenium
Species: A. trichomanes
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class:     Polypodiopsida
Order:     Polypodiales

Common Names : Maidenhair spleenwort,Dense spleenwort, Toothed spleenwort, Brightgreen spleenwort

Habitat : It is widespread in temperate and subarctic areas and also occurs in mountainous regions in the tropics. Its range includes most of Europe and much of Asia south to Turkey, Iran and the Himalayas with a population in Yemen. It occurs in northern, southern and parts of eastern Africa and also in eastern Indonesia, south-east Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and Hawaii. It is found in North America and Central America and Cuba, and the northern and western regions of South America such as Chile.

It grows in rocky habitats such as cliffs, scree slopes, walls and mine waste, the type of rock used as a substrate depending on the subspecies. It grows from sea-level up to 3000 metres in North America while in the British Isles it reaches 870 metres.

Description:
Asplenium trichomanes is an evergreen Fern growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in).

It grows in tufts from a short rhizome. The fronds are long and narrow, gradually tapering towards the tip. They are simply divided into small, yellow-green to dark-green pinnae. The stipe and rachis of the frond are dark all along their length. The fronds can reach 40 cm in length but are more commonly 8-20 cm. They bear long, narrow sori which contain the spores.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Rhizome: short-creeping, often branched, scales clathrate, black, or sometimes with brown borders, to 5 mm , lanceolate.

Frond: 20 cm high by 1.5 cm wide, evergreen, monomorphic or nearly so, but the sterile fronds are earlier and prostrate, blade/stipe ratio: 3:1 to 5:1.

Stipe: a diagnostic feature (10x hand lens) is a narrow wing running the length of the stipe and rachis; brown-black or coppery, lustrous all the way to the end of the rachis , dark brown to black, filiform scales at base, then glabrous above, vascular bundles: 2 c-shaped, back to back, uniting to 1 upwards in an x-shape.

Blade: 1-pinnate, linear, widest above the middle, tapering to either end, thin, glabrous or minutely hairy.

Pinnae: 20 to 35 pair, opposite to subopposite, oblong, round at apex; margins finely dentate; veins free, evident.
Sori: oblong to linear, about 1.5 mm long, , 2–5 pairs per pinna, indusium: translucent, pale tan, hidden by sporangia at maturity, on one side of the sorus, sporangia: brown, maturity: late summer to early fall.

Dimensionality: spreading.

It is hardy to zone 6. It is in leaf 12-Jan, and the seeds ripen from May to October.

Cultivation:      
Requires a well-drained position and lots of old mortar rubble in the soil[1]. Requires a humid atmosphere and some shade. A good plant for growing on a shady part of an old dry-stone or brick wall. Plants are hardy to about -30°c. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:   
Spores – best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. The spores usually germinate in the spring. Spring sown spores germinate in 1 – 3 months at 15°c. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse. Keep the plants humid until they are well established. Once the plants are 15cm or more tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in the spring.

Edible Uses :  
Edible Uses: Tea.

The dried fronds have been used as a tea substitute

Medicinal Uses:
A tea made from the fronds is sweet, demulcent, expectorant and laxative. It has been used in the treatment of chest complaints and to promote menstruation

Known Hazards:  Although it is  found that no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase.

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.

Resourcs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asplenium_trichomanes
http://hardyfernlibrary.com/ferns/listSpecies.cfm?Auto=146
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Asplenium+trichomanes

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