Orlyak ordinary department of covered or gymnosperms | A photo

Orlyak ordinary (lat.Pteridium aquilinum) was first described as “pteris aquilina” by the father of the taxonomy of Karl Lynneum in the second volume of his “Species Plantarum” in 1753. The origin of a specific epithet comes from the Latin “Aquila” “Eagle”. Medieval scientists believed that the drawing of fibers on the proper slide of the stem resembles a doubleheaded eagle or oak. In 1879, Friedrich Adalbert Maximilian Kun gave him the current name “Pteridium Aquilinum”. It was traditionally seen as the only species in the kind “pteridium”; However, the authorities divided and recognized up to 11 species in a kind.


This is a herbaceous perennial plant, dumps foliage in winter. Large, similar to triangular branches form one by one, rising up from the underground rhizome, and grow to 1-3 m in height; The main stem reaches 1 cm in diameter at the base.

One of the highest local fern, he can grow to an adult growth. Therefore, it is suitable only for large gardens, where it will stand out against the background of rocks or stone walls and fences. This is one of the few fern that can tolerate the solar environment. Divets relatively late, often already in May.

Branches die from frost. Dead branches form a litter of flammable debris, which isolates underground rhizomes from frost when there is no snow cover. This litter also delays an increase in the temperature of the soil and the appearance of branches sensitive to frost in the spring.


The violin heads appear in early spring, brown stems are covered with silver-gray hairs. Even before the leaves, the division of the stem into 3 parts is visible.

At the top of the stem is a round of 3 leaves (branches), each of which is 2 or 3 times folded and usually has triangular outlines. Leaf plate: the leaves are located almost directly or almost horizontally, parallel to the ground.

The shape of the leaflets is different: from 10 to 12 pairs of deeply blatant segments, from oblong to narrowtriangular; segments can be additionally blatant. Vilchatny veins. The stems of leaves and leaflets are green, but at the end of the season they become dark brown, slightly furrowed and can have small rough hairs. The main stalk is brown at the base and is covered with short hairs.

Disputes develop in the middle or end of June on the bottom of the leaves in the form of a continuous narrow strip along the edge of the sheet, although the rolled edges can close them. They can persist until the end of summer. There is no significant difference between the fertile and sterile branches.

Each branch of the rhizomes annually produces only one overwest sheet, the length of which can reach 100 or even 250 cm. The petiole is naked, yellow-green to yellow, brown at the base, up to 100 cm long, triangular blade in shape, horizontally spreading, leathery or even soft, naked or with scattered hairs, usually with 2-3 pairs of gimmer periysty and 3-4 couples just cirrus bracts, bracts are weakened along the edge. Plants are rarely prolific, propagating mainly vegetatively. The clusters of the dispute are formed along the edge of the petals and merge into a continuous strip. The ripening period of the dispute from July to September.

Covered or gymnosperms

Orlyak ordinary belongs to the class of fern. This class is characterized by the fact that it is propagated by spores. From this we can conclude that the pteridium aquilinum does not belong to either the Coatseed or gagseed groups of plants.

Where it grows

Orlyak ordinary is widespread in many places around the world. The fern grows in scorched areas, in forests and other shaded places, as well as on hills, open pastures and ridges on sandy and gravel soils. The plant begins to grow in early spring and usually remains green until the leaves die from frost. This is an adaptable plant that easily populates disturbed territories. It flourishes on old fields, in mixed forests and on sunny paths, often becoming dominant after cutting down the forest or fire.


Orlyak ordinary distinguishes allelopathic chemicals that inhibit the growth of other plant species, contributing to the formation of thickets. This is especially noticeable during recovery after fires, when Orlyak can cover large areas with monocultures.

The propagation of Orlyak is typical of fern: large sporophytes propagate asexually, producing disputes that are scattered in new habitats. Tiny gametophytes grow from them, which propagate sexually and continue the next generation. Reproductive disputes are located along the edges of fern leaves.

Disputes of fern can be transferred to long distances by wind or water, and all they need is a suitable soil substrate with a sufficient amount of water and nutrients for growth. In addition, since they are so small, they have practically no natural enemies, unlike seeds.

Red Book

Orlyak ordinary is included in the Red Book of the Rostov and Murmansk regions, as well as the Komi Republic. This type is quite widespread, but it is rarely found in the steppe zone. The population of this species is carefully controlled in the specially protected natural territories of Eurasia.


There are conflicting data on the use of this type of fern for food. People in many parts of the world have used the heads and rhizomes of this plant for centuries. In North America, some indigenous Americans cleaned and pair of young rhizomes as a replacement of asparagus or canned them for the winter. Bella Kula was fried and ate rhizomes in the summer. Other groups of indigenous Americans fried rhizomes and waved them to flour.

However, most sources emphasize the possible risk of health. Some sources claim that the rhizomes, until they have blossomed, can be eaten raw or prepared in moderate quantities. Other sources warn the plants to food at any time, since even in the heads carcinogenic substances were discovered.

The indigenous people of America widely used Orlyak ordinary as a medicinal plant to treat a wide range of diseases, including nausea, gastric cramps, rheumatism and headaches. For example, Iroquois used the composition of the plant to treat rheumatism; He was also taken in the early stages of consumption. Cheroki used the root as an antiseptic and tonic.

This fern has many other applications in human practice. In the past, it was used as straw and bedding for cattle. The leaves were used to obtain brown dyes; rhizomes were used to tug the skin and color of wool. Orlyak was also used for various household purposes. Dried branches were used as a packaging material for fruits, lining for baskets and garden mulch. The roots were used by several for weaving baskets. Branches for litter in marching conditions, for lining of earthen furnaces and as a layer for drying products.

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