Male Fern.

Botanical name: 

Plate 18. Filix mas.

A common weed growing at the roots of trees, and in dry ditches. It has no stalk for bearing of flowers, but several leaves rise together from the root, and each of these is in itself a distinct plant. It is two feet high, and near a foot in breadth; the stalk is naked for six or eight inches, and thence is set on each side with a row of ribs or smaller stalks, every one of which carries a double row of smaller leaves, with an odd one at the end; the whole together making up one great leaf, as in many of the umbelliferous plants.

On the backs of these smaller leaves stand the seeds in round clusters; they look brown and dusty. The root is long and thick, and the whole plant has a disagreeable smell. The root is greatly recommended for curing the rickets in children; with what success it would be hard to say.

The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.