Bracken

Pteridium aquilinum

Photo/Illustration: 
C. Colston Burrell
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Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum)
teh-RID-ee-um ak-will-EYE-num
Genus:  Pteridium
A native fern with triangular-shaped, stiff, upright fronds that can tolerate dry soil and full sun. Bracken can make very large colonies and are found in a variety of habitats ranging from dry and wet forests to meadows and bogs. They grow up to 4.5 feet tall.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Poisonous to livestock. Native. Deep rhizomes allow them to survive fire and a variety of growing conditions.
Care:  Prefers moist, slightly acidic soil and dappled shade, but can tolerate full sun and dry, strongly acidic soil.
Propagation:  Lift the plants while they are dormant and sever the rhizomes with a sharp knife (do not tear apart without cutting). Replant the divisions at the same soil depth and water thoroughly. Propagation also by spores.
Problems:  Infrequent.

Overview

Height
3 ft. to 6 ft.
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Low
Characteristics
Native,
Showy Foliage
Uses
Ground Covers,
Naturalizing,
Poisonous
Style
Woodland Garden
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Type
Fern

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