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Uses

Toxic parts

Although we have found no reports for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[1]. The fresh plant contains 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]. However, there have been reports for other species of ferns suggesting that even cooked fronds can have a long term harmful effect. Some caution is therefore advised.

Edible uses

There are no edible uses listed for Dryopteris cristata.

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Dryopteris cristata.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The male fern is one of the most popular and effective treatments for tape worms. The root stalks are anodyne, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, astringent, expectorant, febrifuge, sudorific, vermifuge and vulnerary[3][4][5]. The root contains 'filicin', a substance that paralyses tapeworms and other internal parasites and has been used as a worm expellent[5]. It is one of the most effective treatments known for tapeworms - its use should be immediately followed by a non-oily purgative such as magnesium sulphate in order to expel the worms from the body[5]. An oily purge, such as caster oil, increases the absorption of the fern root and can be dangerous[5]. The root is also taken internally in the treatment of internal haemorrhage, uterine bleeding, mumps and feverish illnesses[5]. The root is harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use, it should not be stored for longer than 12 months[5]. This remedy should be used with caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner[5]. The root is toxic and the dosage is critical[5]. See also the notes above on toxicity. Externally, the root is used in the treatment of abscesses, boils, carbuncles and sores[5].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Spores - can be sown at any time of the year in a greenhouse. Surface sow on a sterilised compost and keep moist, possibly by placing the pot in a plastic bag. Germinates in 1 - 3 months at 20°c. Pot up small clumps of the plants when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a shady part of the greenhouse until large enough to plant out. Division in spring. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

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



Cultivation

Prefers an acid to neutral soil, succeeding in ordinary fertile soil in a shady position. Succeeds in full sun but grows best in a shady position with only 2 - 3 hours sun per day[1]. Tolerates a pH range from 4.5 to 7[1]. Dislikes heavy clay. Prefers a good supply of water at its roots but succeeds in dry shade and tolerates drought when it is established.

A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -30°c[1]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[6].

Hybridizes in the wild with several other species[7].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Dryopteris cristata. 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 Dryopteris cristata.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Dryopteris cristata
Genus
Dryopteris
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
Shade
partial shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
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:Dryopteris cristata.jpeg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Dryopteris cristata.jpeg|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 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.1 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.45.55.65.75.85.9 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
  6. ? Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
  7. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30936-9 (1991-00-00)
  8. ? [Flora of N. America] ()

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