The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Dryopteris barbigera is a Fern
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine..
Although we have found no reports for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[
The fresh plant contains 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[
]. However, there have been reports for other species of ferns suggesting that even cooked fronds can have a long term harmful effect. Some caution is therefore advised.
E. Asia - Himalayas in the Alpine zone from Kashmir to Sikkim.
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by the plants native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Prefers an acid to neutral soil, succeeding in ordinary fertile soil in a shady position[
]. Prefers a moist soil[
], but is drought tolerant when established[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
The root contains about 2.1% ‘filicin’[
], a substance that paralyses tapeworms and other internal parasites and has been used as a worm expellent[
]. It is one of the most effective treatments known for tapeworms - its use should be immediately followed by a non-oily purgative such as magnesium sulphate in order to expel the worms from the body[
]. An oily purge, such as caster oil, increases the absorption of the fern root and can be dangerous[
]. The root is harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use, it should not be stored for longer than 12 months[
]. This remedy should be used with caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner[
]. The root is toxic and the dosage is critical[
]. See also the notes above on toxicity.
Spores - can be sown at any time of the year in a greenhouse. Surface sow on a sterilised compost and keep moist, possibly by placing the pot in a plastic bag. Germinates in 1 - 3 months at 20°c. Pot up small clumps of the plants when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a shady part of the greenhouse until large enough to plant out.
Division in spring. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.