Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn - Bracken Fern


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Pteridium aquilinum - (image 1 of 3)



Family: Dennstaedtiaceae


Sandy soils. Also found in areas with a history of fire.


In oak savanna with Andropogon scoparius, Asclepias tuberosa, Carex pensylvanica, Euphorbia corollata, Helianthus divaricatus, Lithospermum croceum, Lupinus perennis occidentalis, Phlox pilosa, Quercus alba, Quercus velutina, Rosa carolina, Sassafras albidum, Smilacina stellata, Tradescantia ohiensis, Vaccinium angustifolium.


Widespread in the Northern Hemisphere.


Deciduous fern. Leaves 3' long and wide, triangular or ovate, divided into 3 parts; lowest pair almost opposite, stemmed, cut into leaflets and subleaflets; upper part ovate, cut into leaflets. Stalk almost as long as the leaf, smooth, rigid, green turning to brown. Sori in narrow lines near margins of leaflets.


Spores mid June to early August

Wetland indicator: Facultative Upland

Grows in sun or semi-shade in poor soils.


Cobb, B. 1984. A Field Guide to Ferns and Their Related Families.
Houghton Mifflin Co., New York, NY.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.

The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY.


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




 Michael Hough 2005