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 but it also means Oak Woodlands in Riparian areas. 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.

Pteridium aquilinum, Bracken Fern

Yellow and green fronds of Pteridium aquilinum - Bracken Fern. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

California Native Ferns and Fern Allies featured on this site:
Adiantum aleuticum * Five Fingered Fern, Western Maidenhair Fern
Adiantum capillus veneris * Maidenhair Fern
Adiantum jordanii * California Maidenhair Fern
Adiantum pedatum * Five Fingered Fern, Western Maidenhair Fern
Dryopteris arguta * Coastal Wood Fern
Equisetum telmateia braunii * Giant Horsetail
Myriopteris covillei * Coville's Lip Fern
Pellaea andromedifolia * Coffee Fern
Pentagramma triangularis * Goldback Fern
Polypodium californicum * California Polypody
Polypodium scouleri * Leathery Polypody
Pteridium aquilinum * Bracken Fern
Woodwardia fimbriata * Giant Chain Fern