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Asplenium ceterach - L.                
                 
Common Name Scale Fern
Family Polypodiaceae
Synonyms Ceterach officinarum. DC.
Known Hazards Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[200]. 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[172].
Habitats Limestone rocks and mortared walls[17].
Range Central and southern Europe, including Britain, east to the Himalayas and Caucasus.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of fern
Asplenium ceterach is a FERN growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. The seeds ripen from Apr to October.

USDA hardiness zone : 7-10


Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Asplenium ceterach Scale Fern


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Rasbak
Asplenium ceterach Scale Fern
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:BerndH
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; North Wall. In. East Wall. In. West Wall. In.
Edible Uses                                         
None known
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antitussive;  Diuretic.

The whole plant is antitussive and diuretic[7]. It is widely used in the Mediterranean to treat gravel in the urine and is also used with other mucilaginous plants to treat bronchial complaints[7]. The taste is very bitter and needs to be sweetened with other herbs such as liquorice[7]. The plant is harvested from late spring to summer and can be dried for later use[7]. Some caution should be employed in its use since it has not been fully tested[7].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
A calcicole plant, it requires a freely draining but moist alkaline soil[1]. It tolerates full sun but prefers a position with at least part-day shade[200] and also grows in deep shade[219]. Plants can be grown in old brick walls[219]. A very ornamental plant[1]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Spores - best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Germinates in spring[1]. Spring sown spores germinate in 1 - 3 months at 15°c[134]. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse. Keep them humid until they are well established. When they are at least 15cm tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
17200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[7]Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants growing in Europe. Also gives other interesting information on the plants. Good photographs.
[17]Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles.
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
[134]Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[219]Grey-Wilson. C. & Matthews. V. Gardening on Walls
A nice little book about plants for growing against walls and a small section on plants that can grow in walls.
[233]Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Thu Jun 30 03:06:00 2005
One picture would have told me whether i got the name right, as it is, no picuture, not much use..................
Elizabeth H.
C.J. Bruxner Fri Jan 27 2006
Very true, insofar as Rustyback is a member of the British Flora. The plant is very distinctive and easily recognizable.
Elizabeth H.
Ertugrul Akarcay Thu Aug 27 2009
Our firm dealing in alternative medicine would be very interested to know the current stand of research on the medicinal value/contraindications of Asplenium ceterach officinarum. Thankyou very much!
bill S.
Oct 5 2013 12:00AM
this is a very knowed herb in greece for the treatment of kidney stones and crystalls and combinend with granberrys it can be protective from chronic prostatitis to became acute.it may also realif some symtoms of prostatitis. `
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