Herb latin name: Dryopteris sieboldii

Synonyms: Pycnopteris sieboldii

Family: Dryopteridaceae (Wood Fern Family)

Edible parts of Dryopteris sieboldii:

Root - dried and ground into a powder. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Description of the plant:


50 cm
(1 foot)

Habitat of the herb:

Woods, C. and S. Japan. On the rather dry floor of mountain forests.

Propagation of Dryopteris sieboldii:

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 20C. 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.

Cultivation of the herb:

Woods, C. and S. Japan. On the rather dry floor of mountain forests.

Medicinal use of Dryopteris sieboldii:

None known

Known hazards of Dryopteris sieboldii:

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.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.