Tag Archives: Fern

Asplenium Adiantum nigrum

Botanical NameAsplenium Adiantum nigrum
Family: Aspleniaceae /  Polypodiaceae
Genus: Asplenium
Species: A. adiantum-nigrum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales

Synonym: Black Maidenhair.

Common Name:Black spleenwort

Habitat : Asplenium Adiantum nigrum  is found mostly in Africa, Europe, and Eurasia, but is also native to a few locales in Mexico and the United States.It grows on Rocky woods, hedgebanks, shady walls and rocks

Description:
Asplenium adiantum-nigrum is an evergreen Fern growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).This spleenwort has thick, triangular leaf blades up to 10 centimeters long which are divided into several subdivided segments. It is borne on a reddish green petiole and the rachis is shiny and slightly hairy. The undersides of each leaf segment have one or more sori arranged in chains.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Lowest pinnules of middle pinnae c 6-10 mm.  Lowest pinnae 2-6 cm

ID: Stalk blackish, rachis green except at base.  Midrib of pinna has characteristic winged appearance, see pic on left.  Lowest pinnae longest, overall shape narrow-triangular.

Other features: Leaves are rather leathery and glossy.  Sori are linear, on veins, covering much of the underside of the pinna.
It is hardy to zone 6. It is in leaf 12-Jan, and the seeds ripen from Jun to October.

Cultivation:  
Requires a partly shaded site with preferably less than 3 hours sunshine daily. Plants can be grown in old brick walls. 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. Germinates in 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 cold frame or greenhouse. Keep them humid until they are well established. When they are at least 15cm tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is bitter, diuretic, laxative and ophthalmic. It is taken internally to treat diseases of the spleen, jaundice and ophthalmia. It is said to produce sterility in women. A decoction or syrup made from the fronds is emmenagogue, expectorant and pectoral. It is used to relieve troublesome coughs.

Other Uses:  
Hair………A decoction of the herb is a good hair wash.

 Known Hazards: Although there is 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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Asplenium+adiantum-nigrum
http://www.plant-identification.co.uk/skye/aspleniaceae/asplenium-adiantum-nigrum.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asplenium_adiantum-nigrum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/ferns-08.html#lad

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Asplenium ceterach

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

Synonyms : Ceterach officinarum,Scaly Fern. Finger Fern. Miltwaste. Ceterach (Arabian).Ceterach officinarum DC.

Common Names :Rustyback, Scale Fern

Habitat : This species 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.

Description, 

Asplenium ceterach is a FERN growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in).  The seeds ripen from Apr to October.
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.
CLICL & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
A calcicole plant, it requires a freely draining but moist alkaline soil. It tolerates full sun but prefers a position with at least part-day shade and also grows in deep shade. Plants can be grown in old brick walls. A very ornamental plant. 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. Germinates in 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 cold frame or greenhouse. Keep them humid until they are well established. When they are at least 15cm tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer

Medicinal Uses:
This Fern used also to be called ‘Miltwaste,’ because it was said to cure disorders of the milt or spleen, for which it was much recommended by the Ancients. Probably this virtue has been attributed to the plant because the lobular milt-like shape of its leaf resembles the form of the spleen. The name of the genus, Asplenium, is derived from the Greek word for the spleen, for which the various species originally assigned to the genus were thought to have curative powers. This particular species was used to cure an enlarged spleen. It was also used as a pectoral and as an aperient in obstructions of the viscera, and an infusion of the leaves was prescribed for gravel. Meyrick considered that a decoction of the whole plant was efficacious, if persevered in, for removing all obstructions of the liver and spleen. Pliny considered that it caused barrenness.

The whole plant is antitussive and diuretic. It 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 taste is very bitter and needs to be sweetened with other herbs such as liquorice. The plant is harvested from late spring to summer and can be dried for later use. Some caution should be employed in its use since it has not been fully tested.

Known Hazards:  Although  no reports of toxicity is comonly found 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://hardyfernlibrary.com/ferns/listSpecies.cfm?Auto=149
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asplenium_ceterach

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Asplenium+ceterach

Athyrium filix-femina

 

Botanical Name : Athyrium filix-femina
Family : Dryopteridaceae/Athyriaceae
Kingdom:  Plantae
Division:Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Genus: Athyrium
Species: A. filix-femina

Synonyms: Asplenium felix-femina

Common Names: Lady Fern, Common ladyfern, Subarctic ladyfern, Asplenium ladyfern, Southern Lady Fern, Tatting Fer

Habitat :Athyrium filix-femina is native to Northern Temperate zone, including Britain, to the mountains of India, tropical S. America.It grows on Moist sheltered woods, hedgebanks and ravines, usually on acidic soils but also found in drier and more open habitats.

Description:
Lady Fern is a deciduous Fern growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate.It is similar in size and general appearance to the Male Fern. The rootstock is short and woody; the fronds 2 to 3 feet high, grow in circular tufts and are light, feathery and succulent, generally drooping, and while young and tender, not infrequently soon shrivelling up after being gathered. The leaf base – as already stated – has only two large bundles, and the stalks are less scaly than in the Male Fern. The pinnae are alternate, the lowest decreasing much in size at the bottom, and are divided into numerous long, narrow, deeply-divided and toothed pinnules, with abundant sori on their undersides, the indusium attached along one side, in shape rather like an elongated and rather straightened kidney. The Lady Fern is very variable in form, tint and flexibility: it is more graceful and somewhat more delicate than the Male Fern, and is early cut down by autumn frosts. It is easy of cultivation.
It is hardy to zone 2. The seeds ripen from Jul to August.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:  
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Ground cover, Massing, Woodland garden. An easily grown plant, it is calcifuge and prefers an acid soil with a pH from 4.5 to 6.5, but it tolerates alkaline soils if plenty of leaf mould is added. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist sheltered site with moderately high atmospheric humidity. A very ornamental  and polymorphic species, there are many named varieties selected for their ornamental value. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant.

Propagation:         
Spores – surface sow in a pot of sterile compost in a shady part of the greenhouse and keep moist, this is most easily done by putting the pot in a plastic bag. Pot up small clumps of the plants when they are large enough to handle and keep them moist until they are established. Plant out in late spring of the following year. Division in spring as plants come into growth. Larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whilst smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.

Edible Uses:      
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.

Young shoots, harvested before they have fully unfolded, can be eaten cooked. They must not be eaten raw – see the notes above on toxicity. Used in spring, they are a bitter emergency food. Rhizome – peeled and slow-baked. Reports that the root of this plant were eaten by native North American Indians are likely to be mistaken, it was probably Dryopteris expansa that was used.

Medicinal Uses:
A tea of the boiled stems has been used to relieve labour pains. The young unfurled fronds have been eaten to treat internal ailments such as cancer of the womb. The roots are anthelmintic and diuretic. A tea of the boiled roots has been used to treat general body pains, to stop breast pains caused by childbirth and to induce milk flow in caked breasts. The dried powdered root has been applied externally to heal sores. A liquid extract of the root is an effective anthelmintic, though it is less powerful than the male fern, Dryopteris felix-mas

Other Uses: A good ground cover plant, forming a slowly spreading clump. The cultivar ‘Minor’ has a denser habit and spreads more freely, making a better cover

Known Hazards:     The fresh shoots of Asplenium felix-femina 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. Although we have found no reports for this species, a number of ferns also contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable.

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=Athyrium+filix-femina
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athyrium_filix-femina

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Dryopteris Felix-mas

Botanical Name :Dryopteris Felix-mas
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Genus:     Dryopteris
Species: D. filix-mas
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class:     Pteridopsida
Order:     Polypodiales

Synonym:Male Shield Fern.

Common Name :Male fern

Habitat : Dryopteris Felix-mas is native to much of Europe, Asia, and North America. It favours damp shaded areas in the understory of woodlands, but also shady places on hedge-banks, rocks, and screes. It is much less abundant in North America than in Europe.

Description:
Its specific epithet filix-mas means “male fern (filix)”, as the plant was thought to be the male version of the female fern, being robust in appearance and vigorous in growth.The semi-evergreen leaves have an upright habit and reach a maximum length of 150 cm (59 in), with a single crown on each rootstock. The bipinnate leaves consist of 20-35 pinnae on each side of the rachis. The leaves taper at both ends, with the basal pinnae about half the length of the middle pinnae. The pinules are rather blunt and equally lobed all around. The stalks are covered with orange-brown scales. On the abaxial surface of the mature blade 5 to 6 sori develop in two rows. When the spores ripen in August to November, the indusium starts to shrivel, leading to the release of the spores.

CLICK  & SEE

This species hybridises easily with Dryopteris affinis (scaly male fern) and Dryopteris oreades (mountain male fern).

Cultivation:          
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Massing, Rock garden, Specimen, Woodland garden. Prefers an acid to neutral soil, succeeding in ordinary fertile soil in a shady position. Succeeds in poor soils. Succeeds in full sun but grows best in a shady position with only 2 – 3 hours sun per day. Tolerates a pH range from 4.5 to 7. Dislikes heavy clay. Prefers a good supply of water at its roots but succeeds in dry shade and tolerates drought when it is established. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -30°c, the plant remains evergreen in the milder areas of Britain. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. An aggregate species. There are many named forms, selected for their ornamental value. Special Features: Attractive foliage, North American native, Wetlands plant, Attracts butterflies, There are no flowers or blooms.

Propagation :    
Spores – can be sown at any time of the year in a greenhouse. Surface sow on a sterilised compost and keep moist, possibly by placing the pot in a plastic bag. Germinates in 1 – 3 months at 20°c. Pot up small clumps of the plants when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a shady part of the greenhouse until large enough to plant out. Division in spring. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Edible Uses:
Young fronds – cooked A flavour resembling asparagus, broccoli and artichokes. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. The rhizomes can be eaten raw or cooked. They were eaten raw as part of a regime for losing weight.

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used:  Root. An oil is extracted from the rhizome of this Fern, which, as far back as the times of Theophrastus and Dioscorides, was known as a valuable vermifuge, and its use has in modern times been widely revived.

Constituents:  By extraction with ether, Male Fern yields a dark green, oily liquid extract, Oil of Male Fern, containing the more important constituents of the drug. The chief constituents are about 5 per cent of Filmaron – an amorphous acid, and from 5 to 8 per cent of Filicic acid, which is also amorphous and tends to degenerate into its inactive crystalline anhydride, Filicin. The Filicic acid is regarded as the chief, though not the only active principle. Tannin, resin, colouring matter and sugar are also present in the rhizome. The drug has a disagreeable, bitter taste and an unpleasant odour

Uses:
The male fern is one of the most popular and effective treatments for tape worms. The root stalks are anodyne, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, astringent, febrifuge, vermifuge and vulnerary. The root contains an oleoresin that paralyses tapeworms and other internal parasites and has been used as a worm expellent. The active ingredient in this oleo-resin is ‘filicin’, roots of this species contain about 1.5 – 2.5% filicin. It is one of the most effective treatments known for tapeworms – its use should be immediately followed by a non-oily purgative such as magnesium sulphate, Convolvulus scammonia or Helleborus niger in order to expel the worms from the body. An oily purge, such as caster oil, increases the absorption of the fern root and can be dangerous. The root is also taken internally in the treatment of internal haemorrhage, uterine bleeding, mumps and feverish illnesses. The root is harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use. This remedy should be used with caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The root is toxic and the dosage is critical. Pregnant women and people with heart complaints should not be prescribed this plant. See also notes above on toxicity. Externally, the root is used as a poultice in the treatment of abscesses, boils, carbuncles and sores
.
Other Uses
Compost;  Potash;  Tannin.

A compost of fern leaves is very beneficial on tree seed beds, aiding germination. The ashes of the plant are rich in potash and has been used in making soap and glass. An effective ground cover plant. Although it is usually deciduous, its decaying fronds make a good weed-suppressing mulch in the winter. Space the plants about 60cm apart each way. The roots contain about 10% tannin

Numerous cultivars have been selected for garden use. The species and the cultivar ‘Cristata’ have both gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Known Hazards :  Although it is found no reports for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable. The fresh plant contains 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. However, there have been reports for other species of ferns suggesting that even cooked fronds can have a long term harmful effect. Some caution is therefore advised.

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#mal
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dryopteris_filix-mas
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=dryopteris+filix-mas

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Dryopteris filix-mas

 

Botanical Name :Dryopteris filix-mas
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Genus: Dryopteris
Species: D. filix-mas
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Pteridopsida
Order: Polypodiales

Common Name : Common Male Fern or Male Fern

Habitat : Dryopteris filix-mas  is one of the most common ferns of the temperate Northern Hemisphere, occurring throughout much of Europe, Asia, and North America. It favours damp shaded areas and is common in the understory of woodlands, but is also found in shady places on hedge-banks, rocks, and screes. It is much less abundant in North America than in Europe.

Description:
Dryopteris filix-mas is an evergreen Fern growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a medium rate. The half-evergreen leaves have an upright habit and reach a maximum length of 1.5 m, with a single crown on each rootstock. The bipinnate leaves consist of 20-35 pinnae on each side of the rachis. The leaves taper at both ends, with the basal pinnae about half the length of the middle pinnae. The pinules are rather blunt and equally lobed all around. The stalks are covered with orange-brown scales. On the abaxial surface of the mature blade 5 to 6 sori develop in two rows. When the spores ripen in August to November, the indusium starts to shrivel, leading to the release of the spores.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

This species hybridises easily with Dryopteris affinis (Scaly Male Fern) and Dryopteris oreades (Mountain Male Fern).

Cultivation:
Prefers an acid to neutral soil, succeeding in ordinary fertile soil in a shady position. Succeeds in poor soils. Succeeds in full sun but grows best in a shady position with only 2 – 3 hours sun per day. Tolerates a pH range from 4.5 to 7. Dislikes heavy clay. Prefers a good supply of water at its roots but succeeds in dry shade and tolerates drought when it is established. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -30°c, the plant remains evergreen in the milder areas of Britain. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. An aggregate species. There are many named forms, selected for their ornamental value. Special Features: Attractive foliage, North American native, Wetlands plant, Attracts butterflies, There are no flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Spores – can be sown at any time of the year in a greenhouse. Surface sow on a sterilised compost and keep moist, possibly by placing the pot in a plastic bag. Germinates in 1 – 3 months at 20°c. Pot up small clumps of the plants when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a shady part of the greenhouse until large enough to plant out. Division in spring. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Edible Uses: …..Young fronds – cooked. A flavour resembling asparagus, broccoli and artichokes. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. The rhizomes can be eaten raw or cooked. They were eaten raw as part of a regime for losing weight.

Medicinal Uses:
Dryopteris filix-mas is one of the most effective of all “worm herbs,” male fern root, or the oleo-resin it yields, is a specific treatment for tapeworms.  It acts by paralyzing the muscles of the worm, forcing it to relax its hold on the gut wall.  Provided that the root is taken along with a nonoily purgative like scammony or black hellebore, it will flush out the parasites.  The roots are added to healing salves for wounds and rubbed into the limbs of children with rickets. It is also good for sores, boils, carbuncles, swollen glands and epidemic flu.  It inhibits bleeding of a hot nature and is combined with cedar leaves for uterine bleeding.  With other alteratives like honeysuckle, forsythia and dandelion it treats toxic blood conditions.  Fern tincture should be prepared in new batches every year.

The root was used, until recent times, as an anthelmintic to expel tapeworms, but has been replaced by less toxic and more effective drugs. The anthelmintic activity has been claimed to be due to flavaspidic acid, a phloroglucinol derivative. The plant is sometimes referred to in ancient literature as Worm Fern.

Other Uses:
Dryopteris filix-mas is also grown as an ornamental fern in gardens.A compost of fern leaves is very beneficial on tree seed beds, aiding germination. The ashes of the plant are rich in potash and has been used in making soap and glass. An effective ground cover plant. Although it is usually deciduous, its decaying fronds make a good weed-suppressing mulch in the winter. Space the plants about 60cm apart each way. The roots contain about 10% tannin.

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Massing, Rock garden, Specimen, Woodland garden.
Known Hazards : Although no reports for this species  is  found, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable. The fresh plant contains 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. However, there have been reports for other species of ferns suggesting that even cooked fronds can have a long term harmful effect. Some caution is therefore advised.

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_filix-mas
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

http://www.crownsvillenursery.com/xcart/product.php?productid=629&cat=7&page=1

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Dryopteris+filix-mas

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