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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

Root. Very sweet, it contains sugars, tannin and oils[3]. It is used as a liquorice adulterant[4]. The root has a unique, rather unpleasant odour and a sweet (cloying) flavour at first though it quickly becomes nauseating[5]. The root contains 15.5% saccharose and 4.2% glucose[6].

Material uses

Plants can be grown as a ground cover in a shady position[7][1]. They form a spreading carpet and are best spaced about 30cm apart each way[8]. The ash of burnt leaves is rich in carbonate of potash[9].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Polypody stimulates bile secretion and is a gentle laxative. In European herbal medicine it is traditionally used as a treatment for hepatitis and jaundice and as a remedy for indigestion and loss of appetite[10]. It should not be used externally since it can cause skin rashes[10].

The root is alterative, anthelmintic, cholagogue, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, pectoral, purgative, tonic[9][11][12]. It can be used either fresh or dried and is best harvested in October or November, though it can be collected until February[9]. The leaves can also be used but are less active[9]. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of pleurisy, hives, sore throats and stomach aches and as a mild laxative for children[5]. It was also considered of value for lung ailments and liver diseases[5]. The poulticed root is applied to inflammations[5].

A tea or syrup of the whole plant is anthelmintic[5].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Soil surface

Ecological Functions

Ground cover

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 but it succeeds at most times of the year[13].

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



Cultivation

Easily grown in most light soils[14]. Prefers a soil of leaf mould and a cool but not too moist clay[13]. Prefers a cool damp shady position[13]. Thrives in dry shade[15][7]. Established plants are drought tolerant[8]. They grow well on drystone walls[1].

Plants often grow as epiphytes[15][16]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[17]. A rather variable plant, it is considered to be an aggregate species of several very similar species[14].

Only the roots should be planted, the rhizome being fixed to the surface of the soil[13][14].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Polypodium vulgare. 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 Polypodium vulgare.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Polypodium vulgare
Genus
Polypodium
Family
Polypodiaceae
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
    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:Illustration Polypodium vulgare0.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 Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.45.55.6 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. ? 6.06.1 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.2 Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.2 Thomas. G. S. Plants for Ground Cover J. M. Dent & Sons ISBN 0-460-12609-1 (1990-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.5 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.2 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.3 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.2 Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30936-9 (1991-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Knight. F. P. Plants for Shade. Royal Horticultural Society. ISBN 0-900629-78-9 (1980-00-00)
    16. ? Brown. Shade Plants for Garden and Woodland. ()
    17. ? Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
    18. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-17

    "image:Illustration Polypodium vulgare0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.