Bracken Ferns

bracken fern fronds

During my hike this evening I found a large patch of bracken fern growing on the side of the mountain. Bracken is a large fern that can grow up to 3 feet tall and grows well in the sun. Here is South Carolina we have a lot of extremely hot weather in late July and August and the bracken ferns will grow well in direct sun in our area.

Bracken ferns have rhizome roots and are rapid growers in the right soil. They can reproduce two ways, by rhizomes spreading and by spores. All you need is about 3 to 4 inches of the rhizome to transplant bracken ferns from one area to another. Bracken ferns are fast growing and can be invasive.

bracken fern fronds

As you can see in the pictures, bracken has fronds that are made up of smaller leaflets. The fronds are shaped like triangles. After the first hard frost the bracken fronds die back but will come back in the spring.

When I am making an arrangement of bourbon roses or oriental lilies I will add a couple of bracken fronds. I have read that bracken fern is carcinogenic to mice, rats, horses and cattle when eaten.

If you plant bracken ferns in your garden they are almost impossible to get rid of them if you decide you don’t want them anymore!!