Bracken fern

Bracken fern

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Caption: Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum). This widespread fern is usually found growing on acid heathland soils and in woods and sheltered grasslands. Young leaves are tightly coiled with the tip in the centre. As the plant matures the leaf unravels from the base upwards. Young leaves are covered with small pointed brown scales called ramenta. Bracken spreads via extensive rhizomes (horizontal underground stems) which are susceptible to trampling by livestock. The spores are carcinogenic (cancer-causing) if inhaled and are hazardous to forestry workers.

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Keywords: botany, bracken, branch, fern, ferns, leaf, leaves, nature, plant, pteridium aquilinum, pteridophyte, pteridophytes

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