Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum)

  • Paprocie Fern

Fern family (Dennstaedtiaceae)


Longlived fern with long, underground rhizome. From that each season single leaf grows up, reaching heights in range 0.5-2 m, with broad, stiff, triangular blade set almost at right angles to thick, straight stalk. Leaves compound, 3-pinnate, margins somewhat inrolled. Undersides of spore-bearing leaves entirely covered with lines of reduced sori, producing spores in Jul.-Sep.

Grows on mesic to moist soils that are either nutrient poor or at best moderately fertile. Present in mesic and moist coniferous forest, as well as in mixed/coniferous forest and poorer oak-lime-hornbeam forest. A POISONOUS plant. However. rhizomes and young leaves can be eaten if prepared properly.


Descriptions devised by the team at the Independent Department of Forest Botany, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, i.e. L. Witkowska-Żuk, K. Marciszewska, W. Ciurzycki, A. Obidziński and P. Zaniewski.