Pteridium aquilinum, Bracken fern

Pteridium aquilinum, Bracken fern
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  • Item #: F12
  • Average - Dry soil:
  • Average well drained soil:
  • Average Wildlife Value:
  • Clay Soil- High clay content, fine texture:
  • Deer Resistant:
  • Drought Tolerant:
  • Drought tolerant:
  • Dry-Moist Soil:
  • Erosion Control:
  • Game Birds:
  • Groundcover:
  • Herbaceous plant:
  • Native To Mountain Regions:
  • Part - Full Shade (less than 4 hours):
  • Part Sun - Part Shade :
  • Perennial:
  • Sandy soil, coarse texture:
  • Small Mammals:
  • UPL- Almost never occur in wetlands:
  * Marked fields are required.
Price $6.75
5 or more $4.50 each
20 or more $3.50 each
50 or more $1.50 each
300 or more $1.30 each


Easily grown in average, consistently moist soils in full sun to part shade. Favors sandy to peaty acidic soils. Rarely found in areas with alkaline soils. Grows well in poor soils. Hardy and vigorous. Plants spring back quickly after fires or logging.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pteridium aquilinum, commonly called bracken fern, is a coarse, deciduous, rhizomatous, cosmopolitan fern found on all continents except Antarctica. It is typically found in woods (including somewhat dry woodland areas), fields, old pastures, thickets, areas with disturbed soils, burned-out areas and marshes. Established plants tolerate brief periods of drought. Bracken fern is composed of two subspecies with 12 varieties.  Bracken fern typically grows to 3' tall and 4' wide (though sometimes much taller). Coarse, divided, triangular fronds rise directly from deep running rootstocks. Fronds typically tilt to being almost horizontal.