Common polypody

The liquorice of the forest

Common polypody, photo Jussi Helimäki

The drought-tolerant common polypody (Polypodium vulgare) can often be found growing in thick clusters on rocks. It is known for its liquorice-flavoured roots, which have traditionally been used as medicine to treat bronchitis and liver problems. The sweet taste is caused by glycyrrhetinic acid. The picking of common polypodies is not covered by everyman’s rights.