by Stephen Mifsud
   19 Oct 2019      ()
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Pteridium aquilinum   (Bracken Fern)

Pteridium aquilinum  (HYPOLEPIDACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands at or after year 2000.

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Profile Date Oct-2010 (last update: 12-Jan-2019)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (Oct-2010) Pteridium aquilinum retrieved from on 2019-Oct-19

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Pteridium aquilinum(L.) Kuhn
Published in (L.) Kuhn in Kersten, Reise Ost. Afr. Bot. 3(3):11 (1879)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Pteris aquilinum
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life ]

Plant Family :

Hypolepidaceae (The Family)
1 species from the Hypolepidaceae family is recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Bracken Fern, Western Bracken Fern, Brake Fern

Maltese name(s) :

Feliċilla, Feliċija, Feliċita

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common     Frequent     Scarce     Rare     Very Rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: GEOPHYTE (bearing underground bulbs, rhizomes, stolons, etc.)
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection [link]:

Not Protected by Law (LN200/2011 or LN311/2006)

Red List (1989) :

This species has a threatened status and is listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

All year

Colour of Flowers:


Species Description and Distribution

Habitat in Europe:

Usually calcifuge.

Preferred habitat in Malta:

Clayey soils

Botanical Description:

Leaves 40-400 cm, 2-pinnate or more usually 3-pinnate-pinnatifid, more or less woolly to glabrous on the lower surface, glabrous or subglabrous on the upper, the young unfurling fronds (croziers) with filiform, white (colourless) scales and usually with red hairs; petiole tomentose at the base, remaining so or becoming glabrous throughout; pinnae orientated horizontally; pinnules shortly acuminate to obtuse. Indusium ciliate.

Chromosome number:


Distributional range:

Almost throughout Europe but local in the east.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):

Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):

All except Faroe Islands, Iceland, Svalbard archipelago

Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(Euro+Med Checklist, 2017) - Country codes

Ab(A) AE(G) Ag Al Ar Au(A L) Az(C F G J L M P S T) Be(B L) BH Bl(I M N) Br Bu By Ca(C G H L P T) Cg Co Cr Cs Ct Cy Da Es Fe Ga(C F) Ge Gg Gr Hb(E N) He Ho Hs(A S) Hu Ir It La Le Lt Lu Ma Md(D M P) Mk Mo No Po Rf(C CS E N NW S) Rm Sa Sg Si(M S) Sk Sl Sr Su Sy Tn Tu(A E) Uk(K U) [Eg]

Images (5 images)
   Pteridium aquilinum   -   Image Code: PTRAQ-0.
   Pteridium aquilinum   -   Image Code: PTRAQ-1.
   Pteridium aquilinum   -   Image Code: PTRAQ-2.
   Pteridium aquilinum   -   Image Code: PTRAQ-3.
   Pteridium aquilinum   -   Image Code: PTRAQ-4.

Links & Further info

Google Web

Google Images

Yahoo Web

Yahoo Images




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



The Plant List


Vienna Virt. Hb.





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