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Hard Fern

Blechnum spicant

Plant Data

Order:
Athyriales
Family:
Blechnaceae (Chain Fern)
Flowers:
Ferns have spores, flowers are therefore absent.
Fruit:
The spores on the underside of the fronds can be either yellow, green, brown or black.
Leaves:
The fronds can either be sterile or fertile. The evergreen, narrow, sterile fronds often lie horizontally across the ground, and the even narrower, taller, fertile fronds are more erect, withering towards the end of the season. The fertile fronds emerge out of the ground from the centre of the plant, and the sterile fronds from the edges.
Maximum Size:
40cm tall.
Foraging Notes:
The roots and shoots are edible when cooked. The central part of young stems can be peeled and eaten.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Other Names:
Deer Fern.
Habitats:
Grassland, heathland, moorland, mountains, rocks, swamps, woodland.