bracken

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brackenblacken, bracken, slacken •Sri Lankan •Alaskan, Gascon, Madagascan, Nebraskan •Aachen, darken, hearken, kraken, Marcan, Petrarchan •Interlaken •beckon, Deccan, pekan, reckon •Mencken •awaken, bacon, betaken, forsaken, Jamaican, mistaken, partaken, shaken, taken, waken •godforsaken •archdeacon, beacon, Costa Rican, deacon, Dominican, Mohican, Mozambican, Puerto Rican, weaken •quicken, sicken, stricken, thicken, Wiccan •silken •Incan, Lincoln •brisken, Franciscan •barbican • Rubicon • Gallican •Anglican •Helicon, pelican •basilican, Millikan, silicon •publican • pantechnicon • Copernican •African • American • hurricane •lexicon, Mexican •Corsican • Vatican • liken •Brocken, Moroccan •falcon, Lorcan, Majorcan, Minorcan •Balcon, Balkan •gyrfalcon •awoken, bespoken, betoken, broken, foretoken, oaken, outspoken, plain-spoken, ryokan, spoken, token, woken •heartbroken •Lucan, toucan •Saarbrücken • Buchan • Vulcan •drunken, Duncan, shrunken, sunken •Etruscan, molluscan (US molluskan), Tuscan •Ardnamurchan • lochan

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bracken Young unopened leaves (fronds) of bracken (Pteridium spp.), eaten as a vegetable and regarded as a delicacy in the Far East. Known as fiddleheads in Canada. They contain an antagonist of vitamin B1; cattle and horses eating large amounts suffer from blind staggers due to acute vitamin B1 deficiency; also contain a number of known or suspected carcinogens.

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bracken or brake, common name for a tall fern (Pteridium aquilinum) with large triangular fronds, widespread throughout the world, often as a weed. It is considered poisonous to livestock when eaten in quantity, but the rootstocks and the young shoots, cooked, are used for food. Bracken is also a source of tannin and is used for thatching and as bedding for livestock. A beverage is made from the roots. The names bracken and brake are sometimes also applied to other large, coarse ferns and, as general terms, to a thicket of such plants. Bracken is classified in the division Polypodiophyta, class Polypodiopsida, order Filicales, family Polypodiaceae.

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brack·en / ˈbrakən/ • n. a tall fern (Pteridium aquilinum, family Dennstaedtiaceae) with coarse lobed fronds that occurs worldwide and can cover large areas. ∎  (loosely) any large coarse fern resembling this.

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bracken Persistent, weedy fern found worldwide. It has an underground stem that can travel 1.8m (6ft) and sends up fronds that may reach 4.6m (15ft) in some climates. The typica variety is widespread in Britain. Family Dennstaedtiaceae; species Pteridium aquilinum.

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bracken See PTERIDIUM.

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bracken XIV. ME. braken — ON. *brakni (Cf. Sw. bräken, Da. bregne).