Tag Archives: Frond

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.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
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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Common Moonwort( Botrychium lunaria)

 

Botanical Name:: Botrychium lunaria’
Family : Ophioglossaceae
Genus : Botrychium
Subgenus: Botrychium (syn. Eubotrychium)
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Psilotopsida
Order: Ophioglossales
Species: B. lunaria
Ploidy: Diploid

Synonyms : Osmunda lunaria – L.

Common Name :Common Moonwort

Habitat: It is the most widely distributed moonwort, growing throughout the Northern Hemisphere across Eurasia and from Alaska to Greenland, as well as parts of the Southern Hemisphere including South America and Australia. Widely distributed in arctic . It grows on dry grassland and rock ledges, usually on peaty soils. Meadow; East Wall In; West Wall In;

Description:

Fern growing to 0.1m. . This is a small plant growing from an underground caudex and sending one fleshy, dark green leaf above the surface of the ground. The leaf is 6 to 10 centimeters tall and is divided into a sterile and a fertile part. The sterile part of the leaf has 4 to 9 pairs of fan-shaped leaflets. The fertile part of the leaf is very different in shape, with rounded, grapelike clusters of sporangia by which it reproduces. It dies down at the end of summer; it frequently lies dormant for several seasons before re-appearing.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Trophophore stalk 0-1 mm; blade dark green, oblong, 1-pinnate, to10 x 4 cm, thick, fleshy. Pinnae to 9 pairs,spreading, mostly overlapping except inshaded forest forms, distance between 1st and 2nd pinnae not or slightly more than between  2nd and 3rd pairs, basal pinna pairapproximately equal in size and cutting to  adjacent pair, broadly fan-shaped, undivided  to tip, margins mainly entire or undulate, rarely   dentate, apical lobe usually cuneate to  spatulate, notched, approximate to adjacent  lobes, apex rounded, venation like ribs of fan,  midribs absent. Sporophores 1-2 pinnate, 0.8- 2 times length of trophophore. 2n = 90.(Wagner and Wagner 1993)

It is hardy to zone 2. The seeds ripen from June to August.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires dry or moist soil.


Cultivation

Prefers a moist free-draining soil. The prothalli (small plants formed when the spores germinate) of this species form a symbiotic relationship with a mycorrhizal fungus in much the same way as orchid seedlings. Plants can be hard to establish, they can be naturalized in a meadow or cultivated in the border where they should be left undisturbed. Unlike most species of ferns, the fronds of this species grow up straight and not curled inward, crozier fashion. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation
Spores – best surface sown as soon as they are ripe in a greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. Placing the pot in a plastic bag helps to maintain a humid atmosphere which promotes germination and growth. Prick out small clumps into pots when they are large enough to handle and keep moist until established. Grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter and plant out in late spring. Division. It is best not to try and disturb this plant.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses
Moonwort has a long reputation as a vulnerary herb, the leaves are used externally as an ointment or taken internally. They are also used in the treatment of ruptures and dysentery.

*Botrychium plants have been used as stomach medicines and tonics to stop bleeding in cancer, tuberculosis, diarrhea, inflamation of the eye, ruptures, snake bite, sores and wounds.
*According to the Doctrine of Signs, Moonwort cured lunacy, epilepsy, and sleep walking, if associated with the phases of the moon.
*Leaves also boiled in red wine, this then drank to stop beeling, vomiting, and other fluxes and to heal blows, bruises, fractures, and dislocations.
*Leaves mashed in oil to produce a salve used to stop bleeding.

Othe Uses:
Folklore:
*Ancients regaurded B. lunaria (moonwort) as a plant of magical power if it was gathered by moonlight.
*It was used by witches and necromancers in thier incantations.
*Silver was the metal used to influence Luna (the moon) because of her silvery colour.
*Some said that it would open locks and unshoe horses that chanced to tread upon it.
*The crecent shaped leaflets were said to indicate that this plant was governed by the moon and alchemists used it to convert quicksilver (mercury) into silver.

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/database/plants.php?Botrychium+lunaria
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botrychium_lunaria
http://plants.usda.gov/java/largeImage?imageID=bolu_002_avp.tif
http://www.public.iastate.edu/~herbarium/botrychium/B-lunaria.pdf

http://www.flora.dempstercountry.org/0.Site.Folder/Species.Program/Species.php?species_id=Botry.luna

Hard Fern (Blechnum spicant)

Botanical Name :Blechnum spicant
Family : Blechnaceae
Genus : Blechnum
Synonyms :        Lomaria spicant – (L.)Desv.
Common Names:   Deer fern or Hard fern
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Pteridopsida
Order: Athyriales
Species: B. spicant

Habitat : It is native to Europe and western North America.  Grows most of Europe, including Britain, N. Africa, Japan, Western N. America.  Woods, heaths, moors, mountain grassland and on rocks, to 1200 metres.  Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Deep Shade; Ground Cover;

Description:
An evergreen Fern growing to 0.3m by 0.3m at a slow rate.  Like some other Blechnum it has two types of leaves. The sterile leaves have flat, wavy-margined leaflets 5 to 8 millimeters wide, while the fertile leaves have much narrower leaflets, each with two thick rows of sori on the underside.
It is hardy to zone 5. It is in leaf all year, and the seeds ripen from June to August.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES....

Deer fern fronds are dimorphic.  Sterile leaves are evergreen and are  spreading or appressed to the ground.  They are usually 4 to 16 inches (10-40 cm) long.  Fertile leaves are fewer in number, deciduous, and  much longer than the sterile leaves.  Sporangia are confluent and  parallel to the midrib.  Deer fern has woody rhizomes

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. The plant prefers acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soil. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation
A calcifuge plant, it prefers a moist shady nook in the rock garden or a position in open woodland in a moist soil. Succeeds in quite dense tree shade if the soil is moist. Prefers a moist position and a northerly aspect but succeeds in sun and in clay soils. A polymorphic and very ornamental species, there are several named varieties. 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. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep humid until they are well established. Overwinter for the first year in a greenhouse and plant outside in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. 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.

Cultivars
There are some named forms for this species, but these have been developed for their ornamental value and not for their other uses. Unless you particularly require the special characteristics of any of these cultivars, we would generally recommend that you grow the natural species for its useful properties. We have, therefore, not listed the cultivars in this database.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root.

Root – cooked. An emergency food, used when all else fails. Young shoots (often called croziers) – cooked. The young tender stems can be peeled and the centre portion eaten. An emergency food, it is only used when all else fails. It is also chewed to alleviate thirst on long journeys.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses
Astringent; Cancer; Skin; Stomachic.

The leaflets have been chewed in the treatment of internal cancer, lung disorders and stomach problems. The fronds are used externally as a medicine for skin sores. A decoction of the root has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea.

Other Uses
Ground cover.

A good ground cover plant. Relatively slow growing but succeeding in the dense shade of trees.


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


Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Blechnum+spicant
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blechnum_spicant
http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/fern/blespi/all.html

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