Promenade & Walkways

Bracken Fern

CALL US +1.772.337.1959

​​​​​​​​Bracken Fern

  • Common Name: Bracken Fern
  • Scientific Name: Pteridium aquilinum
  • Family Name: Dennstaedtiaceae
  • Origin: Worldwide
  • Height: 3 to 4 ft
  • Width: 4 to 5 ft
  • Growth: Fast
  • Zone: USDA Zones 3 to 11
  • Light needs: Full sun to part shade.
  • Salt tolerance: Low
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Tolerant of a wide range of soil types and textures. Acidic pH is preferred.
  • Moisture: Soil should ideally remain moist. Not very flood tolerant. Tolerant of high humidity.
  • Drought tolerance: Moderate
  • Pests/Diseases: No major pests or diseases.
  • Growing conditions: This highly adaptable fern can grow in a range of environments, including both sunny and shady areas. In the wild it is found in hammocks, flatlands, disturbed areas, and more. It is generally not tolerant of flooding, but it can handle periods of drought. If grown in rich soil, it may grow very aggressively.
  • Characteristics: This fern may grow up to 4 ft tall, but generally remains small (1 to 2 ft) in Florida. It can be distinguished from other ferns by its branching habit – the petiole branches into several smaller fronds, rather than having one large singular frond. Pinna branch off into smaller, unlobed pinnules. The sori, which contain spores, grow along the edges of the leaves.
  • Propagation: Propagates naturally by spores. Can also be propagated by division.
  • Wildlife: It forms large thickens which provide important wildlife cover.
  • Facts: This fern is poisonous to livestock. It is a cosmopolitan plant, found on every continent except Antarctica in temperate and subtropical areas. The specific epithet “aquilinum” is derived from the Latin word for “eagle” and is a reference to the fiddleheads, which look like eagles’ claws.
  • Designer considerations: It is a perfect groundcover plant, as it spreads quickly and forms large thickets. Unlike other ferns, it can handle full sun, so it has more applications in the landscape.