Asplenium andrewsii A.Nelson
Asplenium yuanum Ching
Common Name: Black Spleenwort
Growing in rocks in Gernamy
Photograph by: BerndH
Asplenium adiantum-nigrum is an evergreen fern, producing a cluster of fronds up to 35cm tall from a short, creeping rootstock[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and hair treatment.
Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[
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[
Widespresd in cold to warm temperate zones of Europe, northern and southern Africa; central Asia and the Caucasus; southwest N. America.
Rocky woods, hedgebanks, shady walls and rocks[
Requires a partly shaded site with preferably less than 3 hours sunshine daily[
]. Plants can be grown in old brick walls[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
The plant is bitter, diuretic, laxative and ophthalmic[
]. It is taken internally to treat diseases of the spleen, jaundice and ophthalmia[
]. It is said to produce sterility in women[
A decoction or syrup made from the fronds is emmenagogue, expectorant and pectoral[
]. It is used to relieve troublesome coughs[
A decoction of the herb is a good hair wash[
Spores - best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Germinates in spring[
]. Spring sown spores germinate in 1 - 3 months at 15°c[
]. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse. Keep them humid until they are well established. When they are at least 15cm tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer.