Edible bracken fern - how it looks and where it grows

Ferns are the oldest tree-like and ground cover plants on planet Earth, which have managed to preserve not only the appearance and structure, but also the diversity of species. They live in all corners of the Earth, except Antarctica, the desert. They withstand drought, humidity, high and low temperatures, and are resistant to environmental changes.

Despite the fact that in the modern environment ferns no longer prevail in the plant world, do not have huge sizes, they amaze with their originality and mysterious beauty. Their interesting representative is the fern Orlyak.

Fern Species

Ferns gradually entered people's lives, not only as wild or exotic plants. They are used as a home or decorative culture. In addition, they have proven themselves in the pharmacological field, traditional medicine.

What does Orlyak look like?

There are poisonous (having a toxic effect on the human body) and edible species of ferns.

Edible Ferns:

  • Matteuccia struthiopteris - Common Ostrich. Vaya form resembles an ostrich feather, the leaves are located on top of the root. Distributed in central Russia, in Transbaikalia, Altai in coniferous forests, ponds.
  • Osmunda asiatica - Osmund asia. A small plant with short straight pagons. Distributed in the Primorsky Territory.
  • Pteridim aquilnum - Orlyak, common fern. A leaf culture that grows alone does not create bushes. It inhabits almost the entire territory of Russia in coniferous-broad-leaved forests.

Poisonous Ferns:

  • Druopteris - Thyroid;
  • Athurium - Wandering Skier.

The rhizomes of these fern species contain particles of fluroglycine, a potent toxin.

Important! It is possible to determine which fern is edible by external characteristics: it is grassy, ​​small in size, bright green, juicy in color. Poisonous plants are large, dark green leaves with red dots.

Fern orlyak

Feijoa is a fruit or berry - where it grows and what it looks like

One of the most famous and widespread Fern-like on the planet is Orlyak fern - a beautiful bright plant, it can decorate any corner in the garden, forest or near a reservoir.

The culture is used in folk medicine - a decoction of shoots is used to relieve stress, remove radionuclides, eliminate fever, and strengthens the skeleton. A decoction of the roots has an anthelmintic effect, relieves aches in the joints, helps with diarrhea.


The main characteristics of the culture:

  • What does fern Orlyak look like? Orlyak ordinary is a perennial herbaceous plant of the Dennstedtiev family. A distinctive feature in the description of ferns are waiyi, in shape resembling the wings of an eagle with tips twisted inward. Usually Orlyak reaches 70 cm in height, but in more favorable climatic conditions (Primorsky Territory) grows above a meter. The root system is well developed, located deeply, thanks to which the plant grows rapidly, adapts to any climatic characteristics - the roots do not freeze, they are not afraid of drought, rainfall and even fires.


  • Where does Orlyak fern grow? Culture is found in all corners of the globe, except Antarctica and the desert, distributed in Russia: in the middle zone, in Siberia, the Urals, the Far East, and Primorsky Krai. Habitat - coniferous (pine) and deciduous (birch) forests, as well as edges, elevations, ponds. It grows well in pastures, clearings, abandoned fields. Prefers sandy, light soil, limestone. In some countries, fern propagates at such a fast pace that it is fought like a weed.
  • How to grow Orlyak at home? Fern is a beautiful original plant that can decorate a corner in the house or an alpine hill in the garden. It is unpretentious, adapted to different climatic conditions, undemanding in care. Orlyak is able to multiply by dividing the bush, spores, rhizome, processes. Spore reproduction is a long and painstaking process, which at home is quite difficult to implement. The best option to grow a culture is to use dividing the bush or plant the shoots with the root. At the same time, you need to carefully examine what the fern looks like: a stem, leaves, and root system. They must be resilient, without stains and damage.

To plant Orlyak in a pot, it is necessary to prepare a sandy substrate, lay drainage of gravel or brick on the bottom. In the spring, the plant is transplanted into a shaded place, protected from drafts. Sand, a little ash should be added to the soil, and small pebbles should be placed at the bottom.

Note! Fern loves moisture, so it needs regular watering and spraying.

When pests (scale insects, whiteflies, thrips) appear, insecticides are used. Trimming the crown is not worth it - old pagons are replaced by new ones in spring.

How to harvest and store fern

Calendula flower-marigold - how it looks and where it grows

Orlyak is an edible fern. In Russia, it is consumed little, dishes from this plant are considered exotic. In the world, especially in Japan, such an unusual cuisine for Europeans is very developed, an appetizer of Orlyak pagans is a fairly popular and familiar dish.

Shoots of a young fern - rachis are used in food. They appear in early May and resemble a snail in their appearance - the top of the petioles is wrapped in a spiral. Shoots are collected before the first leaves appear - a mature plant becomes poisonous.


For cooking, rachis is used no more than 30 cm, they are cut at a height of 5 cm from the ground. Sprouts are sorted by color and size, aligned on the top edge, bind, cut exactly the bottom. Stems can be kept fresh no more than 10 hours after their collection, it is necessary to start harvesting rachis for the winter in 2-3 hours - this saves the maximum number of useful things.

Attention! In no case can you use raw shoots - you can cause serious harm to the body.

Pagons are salted for industrial production. At home, ferns are harvested by drying, freezing or pickling.

Fern drying

Drying the sprouts allows you to preserve the original taste of the plant. Dense and large shoots up to 20 cm long are selected, blanched in salted water for several minutes, then they are transferred to a colander, washed with cold water - this helps to maintain the elasticity and juiciness of the fern.


It is very important not to digest the rachis, otherwise they will become tasteless and layered. When the shoots have cooled, the remaining moisture drains, you can begin to dry.

There are two ways to dry the resulting workpiece:

  • On open air. The process is long and quite painstaking. It is necessary to prepare a well-ventilated dry room, place the fern on paper or in a special grid for drying vegetables. For 5-7 days, the sprouts periodically turn over, slightly knead.
  • In the electric dryer. Express procurement method. Prepared shoots are placed in an electric dryer with a thin layer and dried at a temperature of 50 degrees for about 6 hours. You should be careful - the drying time largely depends on the size of the pagons. It is better not to dry them slightly than to dry out and lose the results of labor.


Dried pagons are placed in cloth bags, which are suspended and remain in the fresh air for another couple of days to dry out at natural temperature and humidity.

Tip. You can determine the quality of the product by the appearance of rachis - properly dried pagons retain a characteristic aroma, plasticity, acquire a deep green or brown-green color. If the sprouts break, then they can be overdried.

A very important nuance in the harvesting is how to store dried fern. The shoots are placed in paper or fabric bags and remain in a dark, dry room. With high humidity, it is better to transfer the pagons to a glass container, which is tightly closed. In this condition, the product retains its quality for two years.

Fern Frost

A simple and effective method to prepare shoots that in appearance and taste practically do not differ from a fresh product is to freeze ferns:

  • sprouts are selected, washed, cut into convenient pieces.
  • blanched in salt water, recline in a colander, washed with ice water.
  • after the liquid from the shoots of the glass, they are dried on a towel or paper, cool.
  • ready-made rachis is transferred to food zippers or plastic containers, placed in the freezer.


Another interesting way to prepare Orlyak is to pickle. To do this, boiled salted sprouts are laid out in jars and poured with marinade with soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt.


The result is a delicious snack resembling pickled mushrooms.

Cooking edible fern

Nefrolepis fern - home care and reproduction

Orlyak is a healthy and tasty plant that is widely used in oriental cuisine. From it you can cook salads, soups, snacks, stews and fried dishes. Young fern shoots go well with rice, noodles, vegetables, meat and seafood. Bracken has a positive effect on the digestion process, is rich in vitamins, in addition, its calorie content is quite low - 34 kcal.

Interesting! Fried fern is especially popular - this method of preparation helps to maintain the taste and crispness of the shoot.

Fried Fern Recipes

In almost all recipes, you can cook fresh, frozen, dried and salted fern. Only some nuances need to be taken into account: it is recommended to soak dried pagons for several hours in warm water, salted ones - it is necessary to rinse thoroughly.

With onion

2 medium onions cut into half rings, fry in vegetable oil until golden brown, add to a pan of 500 g chopped into small pieces boiled fern, fry for several minutes. This is a simple but tasty dish. If desired, you can add carrots, season with sour cream and mayonnaise. If seasoned with soy sauce, you get Korean fern.

Fern dishes


With potato

300 g of boiled sprouts must be fried to a crispy shell, put on a plate. Put 500 grams of potatoes, cut into long pieces in a pan, fry until cooked. Salt, pepper, pour the prepared fern. If desired, you can add onions, garlic. Potatoes acquire a delicious mushroom flavor.

With meat

The meat is cut into thin slices, pickled with salt, pepper, soy sauce. Onions are cut in half rings, fried in vegetable oil, and removed on a plate. The meat is laid out in a pan, fried to a rosy skin, brought to half-preparedness.

With meat


Prepared shoots are placed on the meat, onions are added. If desired, you can stew the dish with sour cream or soy sauce, add sesame.

If the fern is bitter

In the process of preparing rachis, you can encounter a common problem - fern is bitter, radically changing the taste of the dish. How easy is it to remove bitterness from fern? Very simple: soak the shoots for several hours in salted water, change the water a couple of times.

Then rinse the pagons well and boil them for 6-9 minutes with the addition of salt. Such sprouts are ready for use or further harvesting and storage.

Fern Orlyak is not only a beautiful plant. It can be grown at home, decorate it with an alpine hill or corner in the garden. In addition, the culture is valued for its beneficial properties and is used in medicine. Orlyak is an edible fern; delicious dishes are prepared from it, fried, pickled, and harvested for the winter.