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Image by Drew Dau
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NATURE TRAIL 1

Harts tongue Fern
Asplenium scolopendrium

This plants’ name comes from the old term for a male red deer, a hart, a female red deer is known as a hind, and its shape is supposed to look like a deer’s tongue.

 

This fern is an indicator of ancient woodland, it likes the shady and damp bits of the woodland and growing on soil that has limestone beneath.

 

Ferns reproduce using spores, which they produce from ‘sora’. The sora are the orange fuzzy stripes you can find on the underside of the leaves, not t5hrough seeds and flowers like many ‘modern’ plants. Ferns are a truly ancient group of plants, having been part of the landscape for 360 million years, these truly are dinosaur food!

 

Compounds from harts tongue ferns are used in cosmetics and a whole range of medical treatments from high blood pressure medicines to diarrhoea treatment!

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