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Common Name: Ressurection Fern
Cheilanthes pteridioides is a Evergreen Fern up to 0.15 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
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[
Grows amongst stones[
Difficult to grow in the garden, requiring part shade (but full sun in the winter in temperate regions), low humidity and infrequent waterings[
]. It requires a very well-drained soil with some lime[
One report says that the plant is hardy to zone 8, tolerating temperatures down to about -5° c and therefore succeeding outdoors in the mildest parts of Britain[
]. However, another report says that the plants require a minimum winter temperature of 10°c[
The foliage shrivels and appears to be dead during prolonged periods of drought, rehydrating when the rain returns[
The bruised, and especially the dried, foliage has a scent of newly mown hay due to the presence of coumarin[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
The plant is said to be used as a tea substitute[
Spores - best surface sown as soon as they are ripe in a greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. Placing the pot in a plastic bag helps to maintain a humid atmosphere which promotes germination and growth. Prick out small clumps into pots when they are large enough to handle and keep moist until established. Grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter and plant out in late spring.