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Bracken (Pteridium) is a genus of large, coarse ferns in the family Dennstaedtiaceae. Evolutionarily, bracken may be considered one of the most successful ferns. It is considered highly invasive, and can survive in acid soils.
Bracken, like heather, is typically found in moorland environments, and is commonly referred to by local populations in the north of England as 'Moorland Scrub'. It is also one of the oldest ferns, with fossil records over 55 million years old having been found. The plant sends up large, triangular fronds from a wide-creeping underground rootstock, and may form dense thickets. This rootstock may travel a metre or more underground between fronds. The fronds may grow up to 2.5 m (8.2 ft) long or longer with support, but typically are in the range of 0.6–2 m (2.0–6.6 ft) high. In cold environments, bracken is deciduous and, as it requires well-drained soil, is generally found growing on the sides of hills.
Salo, southwestern Finland.
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June 11th, 2021
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