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Bracken Ferns

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- Botanical Name - Bracken Fern - Pteridium aquilinum Hardy Planting Zones - 3-10 Sun or Shade – Sun and Partial Shade Mature Height - 2-4' Mature Width - 18-24" Bloom Season – Spring Gardener Status - Beginner

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Here's how your plants will look on arrival. All plants are dormant with no leaves or foliage.

Bracken Fern - Pteridium Aquilinum

Bracken fern, scientifically known as Pteridium aquilinum; common plant and native in North America especially many areas in the United States. It's located in the woodlands and gardens of all states but not Nebraska.

They have some uses in the garden, and they become easily started if they are under the right spot. If you want to establish blacken fern in your garden, it is easy as it can out-compete all the other plants in that area. They look attractive and have delicate looking fronds. The plant reaches 3 - 4 feet high but sometimes grow 7 feet taller. Fronds are found to appear early spring. The foliage develops from underground rhizomes and spread fast, and helps in competing with other plants sharing the same field. If you want to use them in the woodland, they will cover it very fast. It may be useful in rock gardens, in edges of the wooded areas, a ferny specimen is required and will not be able to out crowd most ornamental. These woodland plants grow very successfully in bracken fern presence: Sarsaparilla, wild violets, wild asters and Oak fern.

It performs well in some shade which is not too much. It is not like many plants as it won't grow in full shade. The optimum condition is moist soil, in areas waterlogged will not perform. If under the right condition area, they will require maintenance care; removing them if they are aggressive. They have spreading rhizomes which also multiply from the dropped spores falling from feathery fronds. Growing bracken fern in containers limits their spreading speed. Use a large pot or a buried one, and you will curtail rhizomes from spreading. Ensure you plant them far from livestock growing field; they become poisonous if harvested together to the livestock. When you realize the animal fed bracken fern, contact a veterinarian or poison control agents. Some suggest that it should not be put under cultivation, but you can use it for beautification purpose.

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 Each blade has an average of 3 leaflets. Ferns don't produce flowers, but instead, the undersides of the fronds contain spore-producing sori.  Bracken Ferns grow in large colonies in the woods and the presence of violets, bunchberry, and other flowers. They are also found in fields, and brushy areas and their spores are spread far and wide by wind and other natural elements. They grow into great cover, so plant these in your garden to provide a shelter for birds, rabbits, and even deer!