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I am very new to gardening. In fact, I've just ventured in to my new garden for the first time!

As I started to tidy up the garden in attempt to rid it of all the weeds I came across a plant or weed (no idea!) that I want to get rid of. There's a couple of them, and as I started to remove one I noticed at the roots it has some soft oval shaped balls (that's my best description, sorry!) Can anyone help tell me what they are, if I should be cautious of them?


It's bracken, you can dig it out and dispose of it. They do seed later in the year so get rid of it now. It's harmless but can be invasive.

Thank you Dave, those little egg looking things scared me for a minute. I think I may need to toughen up a little! thanks  

Don't worry claire27, they won't hatch they are the new foliage for next year.


Are you sure that's bracken Dave? It look like a good garden fern to me. Dryopteris or Polystichum, I always get those to muddled. You need a third opinion here before you dump it Claire


too late! i've already pulled them up  

Looks like a shield fern to me, dryopteris filix-mas maybe? Grows like a weed in my garden.

I looked too and wasn't convinced about Bracken but couldn't have named it.

I seem to remember that there is a way of telling Bracken from Ferns but I just can't bring it to mind...........something to do with the way the fronds uncurl ?  Someone will know I'm sure

I've got several ferns ( tho don't know all the names ) and I wouldn't be so quick to rip out............that one looks too fine cut for Bracken

I thought it was a fern but like you I'm not overly experienced!
Stacey Docherty

I think thats a fern i have a ton of bracken in my garden ( which i leave in the woods) and it only tends to produce one stem at a time... My ferns look more like this.... I vote keep

Dryopteris filix-mas, a lovely fern. What a shame it's been pulled up! Incidently, Bracken is far from harmless - it is designated as an invasive species in the wild, and the spores can be carcinogenic if breathed in.

Victoria Sponge

That's what is great about this forum- it's educational. Before this recent spate of ferns and bracken I honestly thought bracken was the name for dried up ferns.

Now I know bracken and some ferns are 3 pinnate and bracken fronds unfurl singly, which I'll try and remember for future ref..

Claire, I'm thinking from your original post that you didn't want it anyway?

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