(Dennstaedia Family)

Pteridium aquilinum (Linnaeus) Kuhn var. pubescens underwood

Western bracken fern

This is the largest fern in New Mexico The fronds originate from creeping underground rhizomes which tend to spread, forming large colonies. Bracken ferns produce numerous problematic chemicals like thiaminase hydrogen cyanide, and others which are mutagenic and carcinogenic. Consumption of these ferns can cause difficulties for people, livestock, and insects.

Pinos Altos Range, Grant County     18 September 1991