This plant has poison characteristics. See below.
- Common Name(s):
- Bracken fern, Tailed bracken fern
- Ferns, Poisonous Plants
Medium to high light shade to full sun; acidic, sandy, moist to dryish soil; long-creeping rhizomes
- Fern leaves (fronds) erect or often inclined to one side, broadly triangular, usually divided into 3 sections, each with small, elongated segments with minute spore-sacs along the margin.
- 7 to 9
- Large triangular fronds; terminal segment of pinnule long and narrow; often 6 to 15 times longer than wide; native to eastern US
- USA, NC
- Poison Part:
- All parts, fiddleheads (curled-up leaves)
- Poison Delivery Mode:
- Weakness, high fever, incoordination, convulsions
- EDIBLE PARTS: Unfurled fronds HARVEST TIME: Only collect fronds from areas you know have NOT been treated with pesticides. Gather young fiddleheads in the early spring, as soon as they first appear. The fronds tend to get tough and bitter as time progresses. They should still be very tightly curled. SAFE HANDLING PROCEDURES: Soak fronds in warm water to remove dirt and debris. Do not use dish detergent or any type of sanitizer. These products can leave a residue. Remove the brownish, papery scales by rubbing with the hands. Soak for several hours in lightly salted water. Cook for 20 minutes on low heat in a pan filled with about 1/2 inch water. Drain well and serve like greens.
- Toxic Principle:
- Thiaminase, a proteinaceous enzyme causing a reduction in vitamin B1; also a glycoside
- CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN.
- Found in:
- Forest or natural areas in open woods; weedy in disturbed areas in fields, roadsides
NCCES plant id: 223