Maidenhair Spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Maidenhair Spleenwort
Asplenium trichomanes
Polypodiaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    A tea made from the fronds is sweet, demulcent, expectorant and laxative[4, 240]. It has been used in the treatment of chest complaints[4] and to promote menstruation[257].

  • Edible Use

    The dried fronds have been used as a tea substitute[4].

  • 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 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. The spores usually germinate in the spring[1]. Spring sown spores germinate in 1 – 3 months at 15¡c[134]. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse. Keep the plants humid until they are well established. Once the plants are 15cm or more tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in the spring.
Requires a well-drained position and lots of old mortar rubble in the soil[1]. Requires a humid atmosphere and some shade[28, 31]. A good plant for growing on a shady part of an old dry-stone or brick wall[K]. Plants are hardy to about -30¡c[200]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].
Most temperate regions of the world, including Britain, mountains in the Tropics.

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.