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Asplenium scolopendrium - L.

Common Name Hart's Tongue Fern
Family Polypodiaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
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 Moist banks and walls[4], rocks in damp shady places in woodlands[7, 9, 31], often on lime-rich soils[187].
Range Central and southern Europe, including Britain, to N. Africa and eastwards to Japan.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Asplenium scolopendrium Hart


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Asplenium scolopendrium Hart
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of fern
Asplenium scolopendrium is an evergreen Fern growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year, and the seeds ripen from July to August.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers dry or moist soil.

Synonyms

Phyllitis scolopendrium. (L.)Newman. Scolopendrium officinale. S. vulgaris.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover; North Wall. In. East Wall. In. West Wall. In.

Edible Uses

None known

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.

Astringent;  Cholagogue;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Expectorant;  Vulnerary.

The fronds are astringent, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, vulnerary[4, 7, 9, 165]. Externally it is used as an ointment in the treatment of piles, burns and scalds[4]. An infusion is taken internally for the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, gravelly deposits of the bladder and for removing obstructions of the liver and spleen[4]. The fronds are harvested during the summer and can be dried for later use[7].

Other Uses

Cosmetic.

A good ground cover plant for shady positions[28, 200], so long as it is planted no more than 30cm apart each way[208]. Plants form a slowly spreading clump[208]. A decoction of the fronds is used cosmetically as a hair wash to counteract greasy skin and also as a face pack for delicate skin[7].

Cultivation details

Easily grown in a shady position in a soil that is rich in leaf-mould[187]. Prefers a light sandy soil[1]. Succeeds on chalk[28]. Plants can be grown on drystone walls[219]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a shady position with no more than 3 hours sunlight a day, greater exposure will cause yellowing and burning of the leaves[187]. One report says that it succeeds in dry shade[188]. Requires a pH of 6 or more in order to flourish. Plants are hardy to about -30°c[187], they grow very well in SW. England[31]. A very adaptable plant[28]. There are many named forms, selected for their ornamental value[187, 200]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].

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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. The spores usually germinate in the 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 greenhouse. Keep the plants humid until they are well established. Once the plants are 15cm or more tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in the spring. Division in spring. Leaf bases - dig up the plant and wash off the soil until the old caudex covered with 'dead' leaf bases can be clearly seen. Strip off these bases individually by peeling them down the caudex. At the point of attachment they will be green. Young plants can be raised by planting these leaf bases, green tip up, in a pot of loam-based compost and enclosing the pot in a plastic bag. Within one month green swellings will appear around the original point of attachment to the caudex, each of these will develop quite quickly into a young fern. It takes 3 months in summer but longer in winter[200].

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 bulbiferumHen And Chicken Fern, Parsley Fern, Mother Spleenwort10
Asplenium ceterachScale Fern02
Asplenium ruta-murariaWall Rue, Lance asplenium02
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

L.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

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Readers comment

angela graver   Sun Jan 27 2008

My Dr. suggested I take 30 drops of this herbal fluid for 1 month. What exactly are the benefits? Angela Graver

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