Berry Bladder Fern (Cystopteris bulbifera)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Berry Bladder Fern
Cystopteris bulbifera

A good ground cover plant[200]. Forming a slowly spreading clump, it should be planted 30cm apart each way[208].

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Root. An emergency food, it is only used when all else fails[172].

  • Cautionary Notes

    Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[200]. 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].

Cultivation & Habitat

Spores – best sown as soon as 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 1 – 3 months at 20¡c[164].Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep humid until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old. Division in spring. Bulbils are produced at intervals along the midrib and these can be planted into pots as soon as they are ripe[188, 219].
Prefers a shady position in a moist but well-drained soil, succeeding in most soil types[200]. Plants can tolerate up to 4 hours direct sun per day[200]. Prefers a pH between 6.5 and 7, but tolerates a range from 5.5 to 7.5[200]. Plants can be grown on old mortared walls if they are in a shady position[219]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233]. Plants die back early in dry seasons[200]. This plant produces bulbils on the leaves, these fall off when mature and grow into new plants[200, 235]. In this way the plant can become invasive[200].
Eastern N. America – Newfoundland to Manitoba, Wisconsin and Iowa, south to Georgia and Arkansas.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.