Cowart's Common Room
Picture of the Day

The Bracken Wakes

Whilst walking yesterday I noticed the banks of bracken unfurling their leaves. They look to me like little seas-horses bobbing in the wind.

They will in a few weeks be one of the less interesting plants that fill our countryside but for the moment a little bit of magic.

Uploaded Image

Posted at 14th May 2010 - 07:28AM   Posted by Blossomcottage   Picture of the Day Comments: 10

Withy Brook's Avatar I love your "sea-horses" Blossom. A great picture.

Posted by: Withy Brook on 14th May 2010 at 08:34AM

Arosebyanyothername's Avatar I love ferns - as a child I used to weave dens out of the leaves of bracken. It was only later that I learned they were carcinogenic. Doesn't seem to have done me any harm though.

Posted by: Arosebyanyothername on 14th May 2010 at 08:43AM

Westerwitch's Avatar I love the waking bracken too . . .

Eeeek I didn't know bracken is carcinogenic - in what sense - do you have to eat it, or is it the spores . . . I too spent hours as a kid playing with bracken . . .

Posted by: Westerwitch on 14th May 2010 at 08:50AM

Twiglet's Avatar Great photo Blossom.

Posted by: Twiglet on 14th May 2010 at 09:17AM

Arosebyanyothername's Avatar 'Bracken has been shown to be carcinogenic in some animals and is thought to be an important cause of the high incidence of stomach cancer in Japan.'

But did you know this -
'Bracken fiddleheads (the immature, tightly curled emerging fronds) have been considered edible by many cultures throughout history, and are still commonly used today as a foodstuff. Bracken fiddleheads are either consumed fresh (and cooked) or preserved by salting, pickling, or sun drying. In Korea, where they are called gosari, they are a typical ingredient in the mixed rice dish called bibimbap.

Both fronds and rhizomes have been used to brew beer, and the rhizome starch has been used as a substitute for arrowroot. Bread can be made out of dried and powered rhizomes alone or with other flour. American Indians cooked the rhizomes, then peeled and ate them or pounded the starchy fiber into flour. In Japan, starch from the rhizomes is used to make confections.'

I always thought it was the spores. Wikipedia is the source of the stuff in quotes. And, yes, lovely pic.

Posted by: Arosebyanyothername on 14th May 2010 at 09:22AM

Tiggywinkle's Avatar Great Picture Blossom. I know bracken is carcinogenic, but I love all the extra information you have given, Rosie.

Posted by: Tiggywinkle on 14th May 2010 at 10:07AM

Patsy's Avatar I was just thinking how benign your wonderful picture made bracken look Blossom but yes it is a nasty carcinogen. I studied the effect of bracken in the diet of cows in the west of Scotland who often eat it because it is so plentiful. Along with infection with a papilloma virus, cancer of the bladder was the usual sad result.

I think I will just remember the pretty bobbing heads of the sea horses instead Shocked

Posted by: Patsy on 14th May 2010 at 10:44AM

Faith's Avatar I would never 'sea' the 'horses' in the bracken if not for you Blossom - lovely pic Very Happy

Posted by: Faith on 14th May 2010 at 12:40PM

Dancing Dog's Avatar Lovely photo, they do look like sea horses.

My husband's German aunt brough me a bag of fiddleheads. As I like vegetables, I thought "why not?" and steamed them. They were rather horrible. Even though they were young plants they were quite bitter.

I think next time I'll follow my father-in-law's advice "Let's not, and say we did". I love that saying, makes me giggle every time I hear it. Apparently it was used frequently when my husband was a child.

Posted by: Dancing Dog on 14th May 2010 at 12:46PM

Camilla's Avatar What a great pic Blossom, they do look like Sea Horses, love Sea Horses too.


Posted by: Camilla on 15th May 2010 at 02:16AM

Please login to comment

Sorry you must be logged in to post a comment