Maidenhair Fern

Maidenhair Fern, Vancouver Island, BC
Maidenhair Fern, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Bud Logan

The Maidenhair Fern grows all over the coast of BC, look for it around small streams and moist shady areas. Look in your garden, mine has lots of maidenhair ferns that have colonized themselves into my yard.

These ferns are leafy, non-flowering plants. They are very delicate and require good wind protection to grow nicely. They are slow-spreading and noninvasive. Maidenhair ferns are deciduous in colder climates.

This fern, like all ferns, requires partial to full shade and consistently moist soil. This fern will grow to a height of 30 cm to 60 cm and similar size in width. The home gardener typically grows them in shady gardens, or in hanging baskets indoors. The Maidenhair fern is naturally grown in temperate rain forests, where it can be found in moist open sites along riverbanks. This fern is fairly easy to care for, needing only decent shade and well-drained soil that is moist to thrive.

Maidenhair ferns are also used in the creation of herbal medicines. A decoction made from the leaves helps clear up coughs and congestion due to colds, asthma, fever, flu, pleurisy, as well as hoarseness and other problems. It has been used since antiquity as a hair tonic and as a scalp lotion to improve hair and stop premature baldness.

Maidenhair Fern, Vancouver Island, BC
Maidenhair Fern, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Bud Logan

To make an infusion, mix 1 part dried fern leaves to 4 parts boiling water and let cool. To make a tea, mix 2 teaspoons of dried leave with 1 cup of hot water and drink as a tea.

Maidenhair fern has an unusual quality when maidenhair fern is immersed in water, it glistens with a silvery sheen, but when removed, it is perfectly dry, for water will not cling to it.

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