male fern

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Related to male ferns: Dryopteris, lady ferns

male fern

n.
A fern (Dryopteris filix-mas) of Eurasia and North America, having stalks with brown scales and containing an oleoresin formerly used to expel tapeworms.

[Ultimately from a translation of Latin mās, male (used by Pliny the Elder to describe a variety of this fern, in reference to its robustness and in contrast to a more delicate fern that he calls nymphaea filix, literally, nymph fern).]

male fern

n
(Plants) a fern, Dryopteris filix-mas, having scaly stalks and pinnate fronds with kidney-shaped spore-producing bodies on the underside: family Polypodiaceae
[C16: so called because it was formerly believed to be the male of the lady fern]

male′ fern′


n.
a bright green fern, Dryopteris filix-mas, of the polypody family, native to Europe and NE North America: source of resin used to expel tapeworms.
[1555–65]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.male fern - fern of North America and Europe whose rhizomes and stalks yield an oleoresin used to expel tapewormsmale fern - fern of North America and Europe whose rhizomes and stalks yield an oleoresin used to expel tapeworms
wood fern, woodfern, wood-fern - any of various ferns of the genus Dryopteris
References in periodicals archive ?
Soft shield ferns and 'Crispa Cristata' male ferns surround them, all growing above dwarf mondo grass and purple shamrock.
a clearing, kindly tree-stumps to sit on and male ferns, bunches of pale green plumes as if planted for decoration.