Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Pteridium aquilinum (photo courtesy of Mark Turner)
Pteridium aquilinum (photo courtesy of Mark Turner)

Click to Enlarge

Zone
Zones 1-10, 14-24
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal
Toxicity
Fronds are poisonous if ingested

Pteridium aquilinum

Bracken
Polypodiaceae
Ferns

Usually colonizing open forest or disturbed areas, bracken has big, triangular fronds that rise on 2–7-ft. stalks. Found all over the world, its subspecies differ in minor details; P. a. pubescens is native to the West. Its coarse, much-divided fronds rise directly from deep, running rootstocks.

Bracken is fine in untamed locations, but keep it out of the garden, where deep rootstocks make it a tough, invasive weed. Fiddleheads are carcinogenic.

You Might Also Like...

Iris hybrid (Bearded)

The most widely grown irises fall into the bearded group. More than a century of breeding has produced...

Heuchera micrantha

Native to California, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Plant in a protected spot in coldest part of the ...

Valeriana officinalis

Hardy flowering perennial from Europe and western Asia. Grows to 5 ft. tall in bloom, spreading to 4 f...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More

Advertisement