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Useful Tropical Plants

Pteris ensiformis

Burm.f.

Pteridaceae

+ Synonyms

Pteris serrulata obtusata H.Christ

Common Name: Sword Brake

Pteris ensiformis
Plant growing in native habitat
Photograph by: Fagg, M.
Image credit to Australian National Botanic Gardens
Pteris ensiformis Pteris ensiformis Pteris ensiformis Pteris ensiformis

General Information

Sword brake is a fern growing 30 - 50cm tall with a short, creeping rhizome[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is often grown as an ornamental in gardens[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Known Hazards

Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase[
172
Title
Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Schofield. J. J.
Publisher
Alaska Northwest Books; Alaska
Year
2003
ISBN
0882403699
Description
A nice guide to some useful plants in that area.
].

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

E. Asia - China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia.

Habitat

Wet, acidic soils in forests, stream margins, at elevations from 100 - 1,000 metres in southern China[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitFern
Height0.30 m
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details


Prefers a position in bright, filtered sunlight, though it also succeeds in quite deep shade[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
423
Title
Desert Tropicals
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The main focus of the site is succulent plants, but it also contains information on a wide range of other species. Usually at least one good photograph, plus basic information about the plant and its cultivation.
].

Edible Uses

The young, uncurling fronds are steamed and eaten as a side dish with rice, mixed with other vegetables or added to stews[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Medicinal

The juice of the young plant is stated to possess astringent properties[
686
Title
American Fern Journal Vol.60
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
American Fern Society
Year
1970
ISBN
 
Description
Contains an article on the medicinal uses of Indian ferns. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

A decoction of fresh fronds is given in dysentery[
686
Title
American Fern Journal Vol.60
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
American Fern Society
Year
1970
ISBN
 
Description
Contains an article on the medicinal uses of Indian ferns. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The juice of the rhizome is applied in the glandular swelling of the neck[
686
Title
American Fern Journal Vol.60
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
American Fern Society
Year
1970
ISBN
 
Description
Contains an article on the medicinal uses of Indian ferns. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plants are indicators of acidic soils, with a pH of 4.5 - 5.0[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Spores are a simple method of propagation, with plants reaching maturity within one year[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Division. The plants can be slow to settle down afterwards[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-09-21. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Pteris+ensiformis>

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