Pteridium aquilinum

Bracken, Pteridium aquilinum, photo © by Michael Plagens

On a thin-soiled, rocky slope on the Elgeyo Escarpment near Iten, Kenya. July 2014.

From Wikipedia: Brake or Common Bracken occurs in temperate and subtropical regions in both hemispheres. The extreme lightness of its spores has led to its global distribution. The large, roughly triangular fronds are produced singly, arising upwards from an underground rhizome, and grow to 1–3 m tall; the main stem, or stipe, is up to 1 cm diameter at the base. An adaptable plant, it readily colonises disturbed areas. The plant contains the carcinogenic compound ptaquiloside.

Dennstaedtiaceae -- Fern Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 8 January 2015