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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

Notes

Root - raw or cooked[3]. Baked and then peeled before being eaten[4]. The raw root is rather bitter but they develop a sweet taste when cooked and are said by some people to develop a flavour rather like sweet potatoes[3]. The root is best harvested in early autumn. At this time the rhizomes are surrounded by scaly, finger-like projections - if the projections are flat and dark inside then the rhizomes are not good to eat but if they are round, fleshy and light-coloured then they can be eaten[3]. The young shoots, harvested in spring before they have fully unfurled, can be cooked and eaten[4]. They can be added to soups[4].

Leaves

Material uses

An infusion of the leaves has been used as a hair wash[4].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

A poultice of the pounded roots has been applied to cuts[4].

We have no other reports for this species, but the following uses apply to many members of this genus and quite probably also to this species[K].

The root contains 'filicin', a substance that paralyses tapeworms and other internal parasites and has been used as a worm expellent[5][2][6]. 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[6]. An oily purge, such as caster oil, increases the absorption of the fern root and can be dangerous[6]. The root is harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use, it should not be stored for longer than 12 months[6]. This remedy should be used with caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner[6]. The root is toxic and the dosage is critical[6]. See also the notes above on toxicity.

The root is also used in the treatment of dandruff[5][2].

Unknown part

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 expansa. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

An easily grown plant[7], it prefers an acid to neutral soil, succeeding in ordinary fertile soil in a shady position[8][1]. Prefers a moist soil[9].

Closely related to D. dilatata and hybridising where their ranges meet to produce D. x ambroseae.

Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[7].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Dryopteris expansa. 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 expansa.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Dryopteris expansa
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
3
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:Dryopteris expansa1.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Dryopteris expansa1.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


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    "image:Dryopteris expansa1.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.2 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.3 Schofield. J. J. Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest. ()
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.3 Turner. N. J. Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples UBC Press. Vancouver. ISBN 0-7748-0533-1 (1995-00-00)
    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. ? 5.05.15.2 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.46.56.6 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
    8. ? Bird. R. (Editor) Focus on Plants. Volume 5. (formerly 'Growing from seed') Thompson and Morgan. (1991-00-00)
    9. ? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)

    "image:Dryopteris expansa1.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.