Bracken fern

donna_stevens(z7 TN)February 19, 2007

Looking for a source to buy Bracken ferns in the U.S.


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Are you sure that is the fern you want? In a moist habitat, it can become rather invasive and the foliage (both green & dried) is toxic (poisonous) to animals and humans.
I have collected some wild specimens for Botanical Garden displays, but haven't seen it offered for sale.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bracken Fern

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 2:22AM
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I understand if you eat lots of it you can have problems. But a little now and then aren't bad. Just cook the fiddleheads like aspargus. Look around the backcountry in the early summer for patches of the stuff. It's a large scale plant. Unlikely success in pots.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 5:28PM
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stevethelizard(SE uk z8-9)

uh DO NOT eat braken under any circumstances it containes a complex mix of toxins not all of which are broken down by cooking increased incident of stomach & oesophageal cancers in Japan, New Zealand, & Brazil has been tenuously linked to consumption of bracken fiddleheads as a regular part of diet in these countries. Raw brackens are certainly toxic to people & livestock, containing ptaquiloside as a carcinogen, besides hydrogen cyanide & sesquiterpene as immediate toxins. is it really worth the risk

other fern fiddle heads can be eaten though

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 6:27PM
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donna_stevens(z7 TN)

Look, I don't want to eat it, I just have some places that it should grow. A lot of plants are poisonous, as my neighbor found out when a couple of her cows at my yew shrubs and died.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 6:43PM
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harvey12(z7 NC)

Bracken fern grows wild in many areas. I dug some rhizomes in northern NC, near the Virginia border and planted them at my home. They have done well, so well that I wish I had not transplanted them. It develops long runners which grow beneath the surface, and then sends up new fiddleheads the following spring, three or four feet from the parent. It is hard to control the growth, but in the right place, it is a very handsome fern. The Vanderbilt Garden in Asheville has a striking bed of bracken fern, with fronds three or four feet high. I have never seen it for sale. My only suggestion is that you look for it in the wild. My source was alongside a paved roadway, at the edge of a pine forest. It is not a moist spot. In fact, it is often dry, but the bracken continues to survive and spread.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 8:56PM
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