Bracken Fern or Western Brake Fern

Pteridium aquilinum

Immature sprout

One of the notable things about the Bracken Fern is that it grows in temporate climates in both the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere around the world. It is generally not eaten but where it is, its consumption is associated with stomach cancer.

Peck called this the "Western Brake-Fern". It appears early and aggressivly in burned areas, but may grow in any open area, but prefers hillsides and other well drained areas. Underground it has woody creeping rhizomes, and sends up solitary fronds which may grow several feet high.

- - Updated 12/20/2012
- - Updated 05/22/2008