Male Fern

Stephen J Bungard sbungard at ZENECABP.DEMON.CO.UK
Mon Jul 1 20:37:58 CDT 1996

In article <01I6BXDS00WY8Y4ZW0 at AC.GRIN.EDU>, Lenore Durkee
<durkeel at AC.GRIN.EDU> writes
>Does anyone out there know why Dryopteris felix-mas is called the "male
>fern"? Its rhizomes were used as a tapeworm remedy and one finds this
>common name in old treatises on herbal medicines.

"The name male fern was applied to this fern because of its robust
appearance and erect growth as contrasted with the graceful, drooping
and delicate fronds of the lady fern."

Daniel Ferguson: British Ferns, Clubmosses, & Horsetails (1912)

Hope this helps,

Stephen J Bungard  aka stephenb at

If there are opinions in the above, they are mine all mine..... unless, of
course, they are yours..... or someone else's.....

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