Male fern

An impressive medicinal herb

Male fern. Jouko Rikkinen, CC-BY-NC-4.0.

The male fern thrives in stony ground and rocks. It requires nutrients and will not abide too much moisture. It is common in the south and all the way up to Vaasa. It is sometimes referred to as worm fern.

The male fern is a typical ornamental plant in gardens. Its roots have been used against tapeworms and national poet Elias Lönnrot, for example, recommended it as a dewormer. It is highly poisonous in large doses.

In Swedish, ferns are called ‘ormbunke’, which refers to their use as dewormers.