California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Pteridium aquilinum ~ Bracken Fern

Pteridium aquilinum, or Bracken Fern has worldwide distribution and grows in most areas that are not extreme desert. Pteridium aquilinum can be found as a forest understory. In Southern California that usually means on North exposures. Pteridium aquilinum grows up to 4 feet tall, and spreads by underground runners. Fronds die each year, this requires some work to fish them out without damaging the new fronds if a tidy garden is desired. Hard frost will kill off plant material above ground, but underground the emerging fronds of the Bracken Fern are always waiting. This photo was taken after an early frost had turned the old fronds yellow and the new ones were coming on to take their places.

High resolution photos of Pteridium aquilinum are part of our garden image collection.

Pteridium aquilinum, Bracken Fern