Giant Chain Fern Facts: Learn About Growing Woodwardia Chain Ferns

Woodwardia fimbriata Monrovia Giant Tree Ficus (Photo)

The name “woodwardia” comes from the Latin word “fimbria”, which means tree. Woodwardias are native to tropical America and have been cultivated since ancient times. They are often called “tree ferns”. Their leaves are small and pointed, with a dark green color.

The stems grow up to 3 feet tall and 1 foot wide. These plants produce large flowers in clusters, each containing between 50 and 200 seeds. Flowers appear in spring or summer, followed by fruit in autumn.

Woodwardias are commonly known as “monroe firs” because they resemble a pine tree but their bark is lighter than that of most pines. They are sometimes called “pink firs” because they look like pink grapefruits. There are many varieties of woodwardias, including those that grow in California and Oregon. Woodwardias prefer moist soil, so they do not thrive well in dry areas such as deserts or mountainsides.

Woodwardia fimbriata is a deciduous plant that produces new growth throughout its life cycle. During late summer and fall, plants develop yellow flowers and red fruit. The best time to harvest woodwardia fimbriata is during the spring or early summer when the leaves have reached their full size but have not yet started to fade. During late summer, the leaves will turn a dull, dry yellow color and will be less suitable for use in fern salads.

Woodwardia fimbriata may be grown in pots or directly in the ground. It requires well-draining soil and prefers partial sun to shade. It can be propagated from fresh seed or stem cuttings.

A Brief History of Woodwardia fimbriata

The history of the woodwardia fimbriata dates back to the time when native people in the Southeastern United States used it as a food source. It was not until the late 1700s that European settlers discovered the plant. In 1806, Thomas Nuttall, an English botanist, published the first scientific description of species.

These plants are typically native to the Southeastern United States, where they grow in wet soil and marshy areas. They are most common in forested areas with acidic soil rich in humus. These ferns typically grow at altitudes between 100 and 1,500 feet.

You can typically find woodwardia fimbriata in areas that have moderate temperatures year round. They grow in the wild in eastern and central United States, where they are common in low-lying wet areas, swampy forests and along rivers and streams. It is not uncommon to see them growing alongside healthy populations of azaleas and wild ginger. These plants are difficult to grow in colder regions because they cannot withstand temperatures lower than -14°C.

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In the wild, freshwater shrimp and crayfish live among the tangled mass of roots and stems that make up these ferns. Native bees, butterflies and other insects rely on flower nectar for survival. After rainfall, wild pigs and other animals come to feed on these plants as well as the insects.

Edible Parts



Root Tubers

How to Identify

Woodwardia fimbriata can reach heights of up to 5 feet. Although it resembles a tree in appearance, it is actually a fern. It has medium green leaves with wavy edges and hair-like structures covering its undersides. These plants are deciduous, and their leaves turn yellow during the fall months.

The woodwardia’s fruit is round and green. It ripens to a bright red color and has the texture of an apple. The fruit grows in clusters and looks similar to large grapes.

These plants reproduce by spreading underground root tubers called rhizomes. If you see one or two plants, there is probably an entire network of them under the ground. This is why it is so difficult to get rid of them once they’ve taken root in your backyard.

These plants produce both male and female flowers. Male flowers typically bloom first, followed by the female. The fruit will not be produced unless there is a flower from both sexes present.

The woodwardia’s greenish-yellow fruit has the texture of an apple and a sweet taste. It ripens during the fall and remains on the plant until the spring. These plants typically grow in moist areas along riverbanks and lakesides.

The woodwardia is a common plant in the Eastern and Central United States. It prefers damp areas with clean soil that isn’t too acidic. It can typically be found along riverbanks, swamps and damp forests. You can also find it in temperate areas of Australia and New Zealand.

How to Eat It

Giant Chain Fern Facts: Learn About Growing Woodwardia Chain Ferns - Picture

The woodwardia’s fruit is edible and has a sweet flavor. The leaves can be used as a substitute for basil in recipes. The roots can be dried and ground into a powder that can be used to thicken sauces. The tubers can be eaten raw, cooked or pickled.

The stems contain a thick liquid that has been known to remedy stomach issues when ingested.

The woodwardia is moderately high in certain antioxidants and flavanoids. It also contains vitamin C and soluble fiber. The fruit’s high water content makes it very low in calories, providing only 35 calories per 100 grams.

The woodwardia is harmful to animals because it contains a toxin that affects the heart. However, it is safe for human consumption in moderation.

Other Uses

The woodwardia can be used to make a yellow dye.

Potential Hazard

The woodwardia can cause skin irritation if you come into contact with its leaves or fruit. Its fruit could also cause diarrhea if too many are eaten.


(Artemisia Absinthium)

Wormwood grows throughout North America as a yellow-green herb that can reach up to four feet in height. Its stem and leaves are filled with a thick, milky sap. It has small fern-like leaves in the shape of needles that grow in bunches off of its stems. It flowers in small yellow clusters that hang off the ends of its branches.

It has a pungent odor and a bitter taste, both of which intensify when it is dried.

Edible Parts

Its leaves contain a nutritious juice that you can suck out of them directly.

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How to Identify

Wormwood grows one to three feet tall. It has long, narrow leaves that are gray-green in color. It has small, yellow flowers.

Where to Find It

Wormwood can be found in Europe and North America. It grows in dry or poorly drained soils.

How to Eat It

You can use wormwood as a salad additive or seasoning for food. Its dried flowers can be used as a substitute for pepper, although its flavor is much stronger. Its leaves can also be used as a flavoring or tea. You can also boil the plant to use its juice as an additive for water.

Other Uses

You can dry the leaves and burn them as a mosquito repellent. Its oil can be used as a lubricant for tools, although its strong flavor makes it undesirable.

Wormwood’s most common use is as a type of antiseptic. In ancient times, it was used as a cure for a variety of diseases, including the Black Plague.

Wormwood’s strong flavor makes it undesirable as a food. It is mildly toxic, although in small quantities it can be used to treat upset stomach and other minor illnesses.

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In large quantities, it can have dangerous side effects.

The wormwood plant has a yellow flower that grows in clusters and tiny, narrow leaves. It grows more than three feet tall. Its flowers bloom during the day.

The plant grows in dry areas of the Mediterranean and North America. It prefers dry, sandy or rocky land. Its leaves can be used as a flavoring or to add flavor to salads or other foods. The flowers can be dried and used as a substitute for pepper.

How to Prepare it

The leaves and flowers can be eaten directly or used as a seasoning for food. A yellow dye can be made from its flowers.

The yarrow plant grows more than three feet tall. It has tiny, narrow leaves and grows in clusters of flowers that bloom during the day. Its leaves are narrow and feather-like and its flowers grow in rounded clusters.

How to Eat It

You can eat the leaves raw or cooked as a vegetable. You can also stuff them with meats or other fillings. Its flowers can be consumed directly or used as a seasoning or garnish. Due to its bitter taste, it is often used as a flavoring for other foods rather than eaten by itself.

Where to Find It

The yarrow plant grows in North America and Europe. It prefers dry, open and sandy areas, although it can grow in a variety of different environments. It is a common roadside weed in many places.

Other Uses

Its juice can be used as a pesticide. The leaves can be used to stuff pillows or other soft items, although its feathery appearance makes it undesirable for this purpose.

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Wild carrot grows one to three feet tall. Its leaves and flowers are clustered at the top of its thin, leafless stems. Its small flowers grow in clusters of pink or white.

Edible Parts

Its seeds contain a nutritious oil that can be eaten raw, stir-fried, roasted or used as an additive to other foods. Its root and seeds can be ground into a nutritious meal and mixed with other flours for bread.

How to Prepare it

The seeds can be eaten raw, cooked or roasted. Roasted wild carrot seeds are easy to chew and have a taste similar to peanut butter. The root can be eaten cooked or raw. It has a mild taste and is high in nutrients.

Where to Find It

You can find it in dry or temperate areas of North America and Europe. Look for it growing as a weed in fields or along roadsides.

Other Names

Queen Anne’s Lace, Wild Parsnip, Snakeroot, Bullweed

Wild carrot has a white flower and grows up to three feet tall. Its skinny, leafless stems are unbranched. The leaves are thinly textured and arranged in a peculiar claw-like formation. When it flowers, it produces small clusters of pink or white flowers at the top of its stem.

Edible Parts

The entire plant can be eaten, provided it has no signs of mold or mildew. You can eat the root raw or cooked and the leafy greens can be eaten either way as well. Cook it like you would cook spinach. It has a taste similar to carrots.

Where to Find It

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It grows in open fields and is most common in North America, Europe, and China.

Sources & references used in this article:

Ferns to know in Oregon by CR Ross – 1959 –

The ferns of Florida: a reference and field guide by G Nelson – 2000 –

A field guide to ferns and their related families: Northeastern and Central North America by B Cobb, E Farnsworth, C Lowe – 2005 –

Ferns: Wild Things Make a Comeback in the Garden by GA Woolson – 1914 – Doubleday, Page

Field guide to the ferns and other pteridophytes of Georgia by CC Burrell – 1994 –

Ferns and Fern-Allies of the Gunpowder River Region, Baltimore County, Maryland by LH Snyder Jr, JG Bruce – 1986 –

Evergreen and deciduous ferns of the coast redwood forest by CF Reed – Castanea, 1947 – JSTOR



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