Herb: Parsley Fern
Latin name: Botrychium australe
Synonyms: Botrychium cicutarium, Botrychium ternatum, Botrychium virginianum
Family: Ophioglossaceae (Adder's Tongue Family)
Edible parts of Parsley Fern:Unexpanded shoots. No further details are given.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Lowland to montane forest, usually along the edges of clearings. Also found in grassland. North, South and Chatham Islands.
Propagation of Parsley Fern: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. Division. It is best not to try and disturb this plant.
Cultivation of the herb:Lowland to montane forest, usually along the edges of clearings. Also found in grassland. North, South and Chatham Islands.
Medicinal use of Parsley Fern:None known
Known hazards of Botrychium australe: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.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.