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Herbs & Plants

Lady fern

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

Synonym: Athyrium Filix-foemina.
Common NamesLady Fern, Common ladyfern, Subarctic ladyfern, Asplenium ladyfern, Southern Lady Fern, Tatting Fer

Habitat :Lady fern is available throughout the N. Temperate zone, including Britain, to the mountains of India, tropical S. America.It grows in Moist sheltered woods, hedgebanks and ravines, usually on acidic soils but also found in drier and more open habitats.

Description:
The Lady Fern is a deciduous Fern growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. The seeds ripen from Jul to August.

It is similar in size and general appearance to the Male Fern. It grows abundantly in Britain, in masses, in moist, sheltered woods, on hedgebanks and in ravines. 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……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[200]. 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.

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.
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.

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=Athyrium+filix-femina
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/ferns-08.html#shi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athyrium_filix-femina

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Aspidium spinulosum

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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.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
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

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Dryopteris Felix-mas

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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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