E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens (L.) Kuhn
bracken fern
Dennstaedtiaceae (Bracken Fern family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens
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Species Information

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Deciduous perennial from a long, creeping, underground rhizome.
Large, triangular, 3-pinnate, 60-170 cm long, 30-100 cm wide, with long, thick stipes, the ultimate segments numerous, woolly to smooth on the lower surface.
Most BC plants of this species belong to P. aquilinum ssp. lanuginosum. Two subspecies can be distinguished as follows:

1. Leaves broadly triangular, but rarely divided in 3 main segments; pinnules nearly at right angles to the rachis, their lower surface densely woolly or woolly short-hairy; the inner indusium fringed and sometimes also hairy.................... ssp. lanuginosum (Bong.) Hult.

1. Leaves mostly with 3 main subdivisions; pinnules at an oblique angle to the rachis, their lower surface nearly smooth and short-hairy only on the midrib; the inner indusium without hairs......................... ssp. latiusculum (Desv.) C.N. Page

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to wet forest margins, peat bogs, avalanche tracks, clearings, roadsides, burns, dry openings in forest and meadows, from the lowland and steppe to subalpine zones; common in BC south of 55degreeN (ssp. lanuginosum) or rare in the steppe zone S BC (ssp. latiusculum); cosmopolitan, E to W AB, disjunct to MB and ON, and S to GA, TX, NM, AZ and CA; Eurasia, Africa, Australia, S America.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References