Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) is easy to identify. It has one main stem with three triangular leaves branching from the stem. The leaves (fronds) radiate horizontally from the main stem.
Bracken fern grows to three feet in height. It’s one of the earliest ferns to come up in the spring. It grows in large colonies along roadsides and trails in dry woodlands. The Latin name refers to the shape of the fronds that look like wings. Pteridium for pteron, meaning wing. Aguilinum for aquila meaning eagle.
Bracken fern grows in the drier, upland part of MABA’s main loop trail.
Our guest blogger, Julianne Mehegan, is a wonderful friend of MABA, a birder and a naturalist.