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Asplenium bulbiferum - G.Forst.

Common Name Hen And Chicken Fern, Parsley Fern, Mother Spleenwort
Family Polypodiaceae
USDA hardiness 10-11
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 Riversides in lowland and lower montane forest in New Zealand.
Range Australia, New Zealand.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Asplenium bulbiferum Hen And Chicken Fern, Parsley Fern, Mother Spleenwort


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pengo
Asplenium bulbiferum Hen And Chicken Fern, Parsley Fern, Mother Spleenwort
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Stickpen

 

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Summary

Form: Rounded, Upright or erect


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of fern
Asplenium bulbiferum is an evergreen Fern growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Root
Edible Uses:

Root - cooked. Young fronds - cooked. Used before they uncurl[183], they taste somewhat like a slightly bitter asparagus.

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.


None known

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Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Container, Ground cover, Massing, Specimen, Woodland garden. Requires a moist humus-rich soil in semi-shade. Plants are probably not hardy outdoors in Britain but may be worth trying in very sheltered positions. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun[K]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233]. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Naturalizing, There are no flowers or blooms.

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Propagation

Spores - best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Germinates in spring[1]. Spring sown spores germinate in 1 - 3 months at 15°c[134]. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse. Keep them humid until they are well established. When they are at least 15cm tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. This plant can also be propagated by means of small bulblets that form on the sides of leaves in the growing season. Pot these bulblets up when they detach easily from the parent plant and grow on in the greenhouse for at least the first winter.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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 NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Asplenium adiantum-nigrumBlack Spleenwort02
Asplenium ceterachScale Fern02
Asplenium ruta-murariaWall Rue, Lance asplenium02
Asplenium scolopendriumHart's Tongue Fern02
Asplenium trichomanesMaidenhair Spleenwort, Dense spleenwort, Toothed spleenwort, Brightgreen spleenwort11
Athyrium filix-feminaLady Fern, Common ladyfern, Subarctic ladyfern, Asplenium ladyfern, Southern Lady Fern, Tatting Fer12

 

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Expert comment

Author

G.Forst.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

david nicholls   Mon Aug 6 2007

I've noticed when another Asplenium (oblongifolium) native to New Zealand is cut to the ground it produces many (about 10x) more of those edible spiral shoots (called fiddle-heads)than normal. This may be a way to increase yield of these. Might be worth experimenting with, I don't know how it would work long term. Maybe it would work with other ferns too. I'm pretty sure there are people selling these shoots in NZ, don't know if they are cultivated or not. The fiddle heads are pretty insipid but are impressive looking.

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