male fern(redirected from male ferns)
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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).]
(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]
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.