Bracken fern heading

© Copyright 2000 Teaching Treasures Publications

Bracken fern is well known all around Australia, and all over the world too. It is also called the 'common bracken' or the 'water fern'. These plants grow to about two metres tall and can be a weed if let out of hand. The fresh unfolded tips that are in between the fern are edible. Aboriginal people used to soak the tips for 24 hours and then dry them. They would then be ready to eat but the hairs on the tip must be pulled off because it can be an irritant. 


bracken fern leaf buds

Some Aboriginal people used the bracken fern to treat bull ant bites. They would crush the fern up then put the juice on the bitten area. This plant is very poisonous when eaten raw in large amounts. A little bit is alright though. Eating large amounts of it causes stomach cancer. The leaflets on this plant are very small and narrow, the stem has tiny pale brown hairs. This plant does not produce any flowers but it has spores which are held underneath the fronds which are the leaves.


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© Copyright 2000 Teaching Treasures Publications