Lady Fern - q’alq’alac - (Athyrium filix-femina)
A reliable, deciduous fern with large, graceful, feathery, bright-green fronds, the Lady Fern can spread 3 to 7 feet in diameter via its slow growing rhizomes. While this fern also produces spores on the underside of its foliage it is sometimes desirable to divide and replant crowns for renewed plant vigor. The Lady Fern gets its name from its use in traditional medicine for aiding in labor-induction and its ability to relieve labor pains. It has also been used for general and chronic pain relief.
The fiddleheads can be gathered in the spring and eaten them raw or steamed-similar to asparagus or broccoli. Native Americans have harvested the plant for consumption in this way, as well as harvesting, cooking and consuming the ferns rhizomes. However, caution should be taken as consumption of this plants raw shoots can be toxic by robbing the body of its Vitamin B supply. Lady Ferns provide amphibian habitat, and the fronds are enjoyed by bears.
*Partial to full shade
*Prefers moist to wet, loamy and slightly acidic, well-drained soil. Somewhat drought resistance once established.
*Suitable for slopes, near ponds and streams, in woodland gardens and in damp, shaded landscaping. Great as a groundcover on the north or east side of buildings.
*2 to 5 feet in height, 3 to 7 feet in diameter.
*Sold as a plug
*Sold in bundles of 5
q’alq’alac *Lushootseed provided by the Puyallup Tribal Language Program and audio by Chris Briden, Puyallup Tribal member.