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Woodwardia radicans - (L.)Sm.

Common Name Chain Fern, Rooting chainfern
Family Blechnaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[200]. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase[172].
Habitats Woodland margins, often by streams[260].
Range South-western Europe and the Atlantic Islands.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade
Woodwardia radicans Chain Fern, Rooting chainfern


commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ixitixel
Woodwardia radicans Chain Fern, Rooting chainfern
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Woodwardia_radicans_(Bauer).jpg

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of fern
Woodwardia radicans is an evergreen Fern growing to 1.8 m (6ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 9. It is in leaf all year.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist or wet soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Blechnum radicans L.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Anodyne  Anthelmintic  Astringent

Anthelmintic, astringent[178]. A decoction of the roots has been used both internally and externally in the treatment of pain from injuries[257].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

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Other Uses

Basketry

Plants can be grown as a ground cover when spaced about 1 metre apart each way[208]. The dried fronds and stems have been used in making baskets[257].

Special Uses

Ground cover

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Requires a neutral to acid humus-rich soil[200]. Prefers growing in wet conditions, especially near running water[200]. Grows best in semi-shade[188]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, once established it tolerates temperatures down to about -5°c[200, 260] and succeeds outdoors in the milder areas[208]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233]. A very ornamental plant[1].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant Propagation

Spores - best sown as soon as they are ripe, though they can also be sown in the spring. Sow them on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep humid until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old and then only in a very well sheltered position. Plants produce a plantlet at the tips of each frond. These can be detached from the parent plant and rooted in humid conditions in a frame or the fronds can be anchored down and the plantlet allowed to root in situ[200]. Division in spring[188].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Woodwardia areolataNetted chain fernFern0.3 4-9 MLMHSMWe003
Woodwardia virginicaVirginia Chain FernFern0.4 3-10 MLMHSMWe003

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Expert comment

Author

(L.)Sm.

Botanical References

50200

Links / References

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