West Highland Flora

Bracken


Pteridium aquilinum

Older name: Pteris aquilina

Pteridium aquilinum

Photo Carl Farmer
29 Sep 2001 Scorrybreac, Skye

Very common on moorland and rough ground, often dominating large areas.

Stems typically to 120 cm, can be much more.

ID: The pinnae are themselves as large and developed as the entire frond of any other fern, and are held horizontally rather than in the plane of the main stem.

Other features: Very rarely produces spores this far north, but when it does the spore-cases are on the margins of the pinnule segments which are inrolled towards them.  Pinnule segments not toothed.  Leaves do not arise in tufts from a fibrous rootstock as in many ferns, but individually from creeping underground rhizomes.

Unlike many ferns, dies back completely in autumn, its brown withered fronds a feature of the winter landscape (pic below)

 

  Pteridium aquilinum

Photo Carl Farmer
30 Dec 2001 Scorrybreac, Skye
 


 
 
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