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Uses

Toxic parts

Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[1]. 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[2].

Edible uses

Notes

Young fronds[3][4]. No more details are given, but they are probably harvested as they unfurl and eaten cooked.

Leaves

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Polystichum acrostichoides.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Christmas fern was employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes, who used it to treat a variety of complaints[4]. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism. A tea made from the root is blood purifier, emetic and febrifuge[5][4]. It is used in the treatment of chills, fevers, pneumonia, stomach or bowel complaints and rheumatism[5][4]. A poultice of the root is used in the treatment of rheumatism[5]. A decoction of the root has been massaged into rheumatic joints[4]. The powdered root has been inhaled and then coughed up in order to restore the voice[4].

Unknown part

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

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. Division. This is best done in the spring[6].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Polystichum acrostichoides. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a sandy humus-rich soil in a shady position that is moist even in winter[7]. Tolerates part sun for up to 6 hours a day if the soil remains moist[1]. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 to 7.5[1].

A very ornamental plant, it is hardy in all parts of Britain but is best grown in a greenhouse[7]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[8].

Remove old fronds from the plant in the spring because they may harbour fungal diseases[1].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Polystichum acrostichoides. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Polystichum acrostichoides.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Polystichum acrostichoides
Genus
Polystichum
Family
Dryopteridaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
4
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
partial sun
Shade
permanent shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    ?
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    ?
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Christmas Fern Polystichum acrostichoides Plant 2000px.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.4 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    2. ? Schofield. J. J. Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest. ()
    3. ? 3.03.1 McPherson. A. and S. Wild Food Plants of Indiana. Indiana University Press ISBN 0-253-28925-4 (1977-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.44.54.64.7 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.3 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    6. ? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    8. ? Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
    9. ? Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)
    10. ? [Flora of N. America] ()

    "image:Christmas Fern Polystichum acrostichoides Plant 2000px.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.