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The world of ferns is seemingly inscrutable for laypeople. But if you don't know the bracken, you don't know the ferns. This example not only looks chic. It is also toxic and keeps bugs away. Therefore, you should take a closer look at it.

The bracken fronds resemble an eagle's talons, giving it its name

Short and to the point

  • Plant family and genus: bracken, bracken
  • Botanical name: Pteridium aquilinum
  • Distribution: distributed worldwide
  • Occurrence: Forests, meadows, pastures
  • Growth: 40 to 200 cm high (in exceptional cases up to 400 cm)
  • leaves: tripinnate
  • Spore maturation: July to October
  • Location: partial shade
  • Care: undemanding
  • Reproduction: division, spores
  • Special features: highly toxic for humans and animals

Other designations and characteristics

The bracken fern is so named because its fronds resemble the talons of an eagle. It is also known by the Latin name Pteridium aquilinum and by the names flea fern, bug fern and large forest fern.

This plant is perennial and hardy in this country. With its ambitious character, it has spread worldwide - except in the polar zones and desert areas. The bracken fern is particularly common in Central Europe. There he prefers to be in light forests, peat bogs as well as on meadows and pastures.

A detailed look at the external appearance

There is a large and branched rhizome in the soil. With it, the bracken fern survives for many decades, centuries or even more than a millennium at its location. Rhizomes 60 m long were found in Finland, from which botanists concluded that the bracken was 1,500 years old.

With its slightly overhanging fronds, which rise individually from the rhizome, the bracken usually grows to a height of 2 m. Rarely it rises up to 4 m high. This makes it the largest native fern. The fresh green fronds have long stalks and are tripinnate.

Between July and October, the spores mature on the underside of the fronds. They are then spread by the wind. Although the bracken fern forms many spores, it prefers to reproduce through its rhizomes.

tips and tricks

The bracken is highly poisonous. Therefore, it is best to fight it when it is greening the home zone and there are small children or grazing animals in the household.

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