Adiantum Pedatum. Maidenhair.
Nat. Ord. — Filices, or Polypodiaceae. Sex. Syst. — Cryptogamia Monogynia.
Description. — Adiantum Pedatum is a delicate and most graceful fern, growing from twelve to fifteen inches high, with the stipe or stalk and rachis, slender, polished, and black or dark-purplish, very glabrous; the frond or leaf pedate, with pinnate branches ; the pinnae halved, triangular-oblong, entire on the lower margin from which the veins all proceed, and incised at the upper and fruit-bearing margin ; the barren segments are toothed, the fertile ones entire. Sori linear, oblong ; arranged along the margin of the frond ; involucre formed by turning back the margin of the frond over the sori, and it opens inward. Petiole smooth.
History. — This plant is perennial, and is found in deep woods on moist, rich soil, throughout the United States. The leaves are bitterish and somewhat aromatic, and yield their properties to boiling water.
Properties and Uses. — Maidenhair is refrigerant, expectorant, tonic, and sub-astringent. In decoction it forms an elegant refrigerant drink in febrile diseases, and in erysipelas, and is also beneficial in coughs, chronic catarrh, hoarseness, influenza, asthma, etc. It is likewise reputed efficacious in pleurisy, and in jaundice. The decoction or syrup may be used freely. This plant is highly valued by some practitioners, and deserves investigation.
Off. Prep. — Decoctum Adiantum ; Infusum Adiantum.