Rootstock: stout, woody, horizontal. Leaves: usually glabrous, ternate; the upper pinnules undivided; the lower ones more or less pinnatifid.
The most common of all ferns, this Bracken is rather a coarse plant, usually found growing in open woods and sunny places. In the valleys it attains a height of five to six feet, but at high altitudes is much smaller and more delicate. In the spring-time the fronds are always an exquisite pale green, but gradually turn darker and duller of aspect as the season advances. What the origin of the scientific name is, no one
50 Ferns and Fern Allies seems to accurately know, borne say it is derived from a fancied resemblance between the frond and an eagle's wing, while others imagine they can trace the outline of the heraldic eagle in a cross-section of the stalk.