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Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens (Hairy bracken fern)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens

Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn var. pubescens Underw.

Hairy Bracken Fern, Western Bracken Fern

Dennstaedtiaceae (Bracken Fern Family)

Synonym(s): Pteridium aquilinum ssp. lanuginosum, Pteridium aquilinum var. lanuginosum


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

POISONOUS PARTS: All parts, fiddleheads (curled-up leaves). Low toxicity if ingested. Symptoms include weakness, high fever, incoordination, convulsions. Toxic Principle: Thiaminase, a proteinaceous enzyme causing a reduction in vitamin B1; also a glycoside.

EDIBLE PARTS: Unfurled fronds. Gather young, tightly furled fiddleheads in early spring as soon as they first appear. Remove brownish, papery scales by rubbing with the hands. Soak for several hours in lightly salted water. Cook for 20 minutes on low heat in a pan filled with about 1/2 inch water. Drain well and serve like greens. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , NM , NV , OR , SD , TX , UT , WA , WY
Canada: PE

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA


Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens


Record Modified: 2009-02-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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