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Asplenium trichomanes - L.                
                 
Common Name Maidenhair Spleenwort, Dense spleenwort, Toothed spleenwort, Brightgreen spleenwort
Family Polypodiaceae
Synonyms
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 Walls and crevices of mainly basic rocks[17].
Range Most temperate regions of the world, including Britain, mountains in the Tropics.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of fern
Asplenium trichomanes is an evergreen Fern growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in leaf 12-Jan, and the seeds ripen from May to October.

USDA hardiness zone : 5-9


Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Asplenium trichomanes Maidenhair Spleenwort, Dense spleenwort, Toothed spleenwort, Brightgreen spleenwort


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Illustration_Asplenium_trichomanes0.jpg
Asplenium trichomanes Maidenhair Spleenwort, Dense spleenwort, Toothed spleenwort, Brightgreen spleenwort
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Inexpectans-barranc.jpg
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; North Wall. In. East Wall. In. West Wall. In.
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Tea.

The dried fronds have been used as a tea substitute[4].
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.

Demulcent;  Emmenagogue;  Expectorant;  Laxative.

A tea made from the fronds is sweet, demulcent, expectorant and laxative[4, 240]. It has been used in the treatment of chest complaints[4] and to promote menstruation[257].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
Requires a well-drained position and lots of old mortar rubble in the soil[1]. Requires a humid atmosphere and some shade[28, 31]. A good plant for growing on a shady part of an old dry-stone or brick wall[K]. Plants are hardy to about -30°c[200]. 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. The spores usually germinate in the 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 greenhouse. Keep the plants humid until they are well established. Once the plants are 15cm or more tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in the spring.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
17200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[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]).
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[17]Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles.
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
[28]Knight. F. P. Plants for Shade.
A small but informative booklet listing plants that can be grown in shady positions with a few cultivation details.
[31]Brown. Shade Plants for Garden and Woodland.
[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.
[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.
[240]Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
[257]Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.

Readers comment                                         
 
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