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Wednesday, 04 November 2009
Brown Bracken


According to the BBC:

Bracken is the tallest fern in Britain and can grow up to 2m or more. It can be found on heathland, moorland and woodlands.
Bracken has a bad reputation, however, Simon Leatherdale from the Forestry Commission says its reputation is not deserved.

It is poisonous if eaten in its green stage it does poison livestock.  It is carcinogenic when it is sporing in the summer, the spores themselves are very mildly carcinogenic but it very rarely spores and even when it does it is very low risk. So low that the Forestry Commission don’t really bother to do anything about it.  One of the ways they control it is to use horses to pull a roller that crushes it.

Despite not sporing, it spreads very well by using rhizomes, which are like roots, if you dig down beneath a bracken plant you find a very black root-like structure.  If you look at a bracken patch it will be one plant connected underground by rhizomes.  In Wales, on the mountains, you can get 100 acres which is a single plant.

Posted by bigblue on 04/11/2009 at 08:27 AM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

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