Bracket fern is a beautiful perennial plant belonging to the Fern class and the Dennstedtiev family. This plant is used not only to decorate a garden plot or room, but also for culinary purposes, as well as for the treatment of certain diseases. In this article, we will share with you recipes for making bracken fern, and also talk about the features of growing it at home. Caring for him is quite simple, besides, the fern grows very quickly.
Photo and description
The bracken fern is a herbaceous plant that looks like a stunted shrub. Its height varies from 30 to 100 centimeters. A powerful united root system grows in horizontal directions and feeds young shoots. The name of the plant was given because of the spreading leaves, reminiscent of the shape of eagle wings.
Bracken fern (photo in the article) is famous for its increased vitality. Not only is the planttakes root even on the most severe and infertile soils, even a fire is not terrible for him. The fern will be one of the first to grow in the same area, even if the fire destroyed all life around.
Bracken fern contains an incredible amount of useful substances, and each part of the plant is rich in special elements. For example, the leaves contain phytosterols, which normalize cholesterol levels, and flavonoids, which strengthen small capillaries and also regulate the blood coagulation process. In addition, the leaves are rich in sesquiterpene, which has anthelmintic properties, and tannins, which increase immunity and preserve youth.
Eating the stems and young shoots, you saturate the body with essential oils, glycosides, alkaloids, fatty acids, tyrosine, phenylalanine and iodine. Fern stalks are also rich in aspartic, nicotinic and glutamic acids. This plant stimulates metabolism and increases the body's resistance to stress.
Healing properties of bracken fern have long been used to combat numerous diseases. Decoctions of dried roots and shoots are used for treatment:
- vomiting and diarrhea;
- nervous disorders;
- respiratory disease;
- weakened immunity.
Also fern is good for rheumatism, arthritis and cramps. A decoction of this plant is used asexpectorant and choleretic agent. As in any business, using a fern, it is important to observe the measure. Even the youngest shoots contain a small amount of toxic substances that can accumulate in the body. It is undesirable to use fern even for medicinal purposes, when it comes to pregnant or lactating women.
Life cycle of bracken fern
This process is very different from the reproduction of most other plants. The cycle consists of two main stages: asexual and sexual. The life cycle stages of the bracken fern are in the following order:
- dispute formation;
- gametophyte development;
- formation of egg and sperm;
- fertilization and the process of zygote formation;
- formation and development of the embryo;
- development of an independent plant.
Asexual fern spores, having enough sleep in favorable conditions, germinate and form a gametophyte. It is on it that the formation of eggs and motile spermatozoa takes place, which merge and form a zygote.
Preparing for landing
If you decide to grow a fern in your area, it is best to purchase a young plant in a trusted store or nursery. When buying, conduct a thorough inspection of the plant - the leaves should be elastic, without signs of damage and disease. The same goes for the root system.
When you bring the plant home, leave it in a shaded room for a day. After that, transplant into a pot with preparedsoil. A drainage layer is necessarily laid out at its bottom, and the substrate itself should consist of most of the sand and the smaller part of the earth. Spread some compost in the planting hole and carefully place the fern, straightening the roots. After that, the plant is watered and fertilized with a growth stimulator that facilitates the adaptation process.
To get a lush and he althy plant, you should organize comfortable conditions that are as close to natural as possible. To do this, a fern pot is placed in a shaded place, away from sources of heating. Active exposure to sunlight is contraindicated for this plant.
The air temperature for fern cultivation can be quite different - from +10 °С to +25 °С. Therefore, in the summer, you can take the plant to the glazed balcony so that it is protected not only from bright sunlight, but also from possible drafts.
Humidity is also important - both soil and air. To maintain the required level of air humidity, it is enough to periodically spray the plant from the sprayer. In summer, spraying is done daily.
Bracken fern is considered a moisture-loving plant. In the warm season, watering is carried out twice a week, since the plant is actively developing and requires a lot of water. In winter, watering is reduced by 4-5 times, but spraying remains.
Due to the high sensitivity of the plant to chemicals, top dressing is applied to the soil every 7-10 days. Begin to fertilize the fern in early spring, when the plantawakens from hibernation and is ready for active growth.
The bracken is transplanted extremely rarely, only in the case of the development of a very large bush, which does not have enough space in the pot. Sometimes a stronger plant is transplanted into open ground for the summer, but with the advent of cold weather, it returns home. A fern is transplanted to a garden plot as follows: a hole is dug in a shaded and protected from the wind, a little compost or humus is laid out on the bottom of which, after which the plant itself is moved and added dropwise with fresh soil. This procedure is carried out in the spring.
The bracken does not need pruning. In home growing conditions, it does not shed leaves. And the garden fern replaces withered leaves with new ones, which will give the plant a fresh and he althy look.
The fern is harvested in the spring. And it's not hard to find it at all. The plant is found in almost any forest, birch forest, and even in many garden plots. Some inexperienced gardeners try to get rid of it as an annoying weed, not realizing how useful it is.
Spring collection is due to the fact that the edible parts of the fern are young shoots that have not had time to release the leaves. By the end of spring, the shoots begin to stiffen, the leaves actively grow, forming a lush bush, unsuitable for eating. In addition, the older the plant, the more harmful and even toxic substances accumulate in it. In the process of collecting, it is important not to miss the very moment when the young stalks of brackentender and fragile, and the shoots are bent into a hook.
Freshly picked bracken is stored for no more than two days, and only in the refrigerator. If not consumed or processed within this period, the plant will become completely poisonous. Therefore, do not be greedy when collecting fern, especially if you do not plan to harvest it for long-term storage.
Fresh fern contains a small amount of toxic substances, so before you start cooking, prepare the plant. Otherwise, the use of this product in food threatens with poisoning. To cleanse the plant of bitterness and poisons, it is enough to soak it in a saline solution for a day. After that, the shoots are soaked in fresh water. Such processing will not only protect the bracken fern, but also preserve all its taste, nutrients and attractive appearance.
If you want to speed up the process of cleaning the plant, you can boil it several times in s alted water, which must be replaced at least three times. The first two boils last for 1-2 minutes, the last - at least 10 minutes. The fern is removed from the fire at the moment when its shoots curl into pretty rings.
Procurement and long-term storage
Since bracken fern is not stored fresh for long, and they want to feast on it for as long as possible, there is the main method of harvesting it - s alting. To do this, it is better to use wooden tubs in which youngplants interbedded with s alt. At least 250 grams of s alt is consumed per kilogram of fern. From above, the whole structure is pressed with a press and left for a couple of weeks. After that, the oppression is removed, the brine is drained and the upper layers are replaced with the lower ones, then they are poured with fresh brine. In this state, the fern is left for another week.
Before use, the fern is soaked in fresh water for 7-8 hours, then boiled for 5-7 minutes. Only after these procedures, you can start cooking bracken fern.
Delicious and he althy salad
One of the best recipes with bracken fern is meat salad. For its preparation, tender veal meat, boiled eggs, hard cheese, cucumbers, fresh onions and tomatoes are used. All components are taken in equal parts and cut. Raw fern is boiled in water, then fried in oil to get rid of excess moisture and give a piquant taste. If you plan to use s alted bracken fern, then first you need to soak it in water and also fry it. After that, all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and seasoned with mayonnaise.
Fern diet dish
Among the many recipes from this plant, a special place is occupied by low-calorie, dietary dishes. For example, roasted ferns are a great addition to any side dish.
To prepare it, you will need the plant itself, onions, some flour and sour cream. The onion is finely chopped and friedoil until golden brown. After that, prepared fern is added, which is fried together with onions for 10 minutes. In a separate container, sour cream is mixed with flour and poured into a pan with ferns and onions. After that, the pan goes into the preheated oven. Roasting is carried out until a golden crust appears. The finished dish goes well with boiled rice and potatoes.