September 3, 2012 16:45
Once upon a time, a very, very long time, ferns covered the entire planet. And it was not some kind of lawn grass, and huge trees! Since this plant is somewhat crushed, but die it is not going.
Fern has many popular names that everyone and do not count: paport (or paporot), snack, kupirod, damn beard bloshnik, activists and many others …
How many fern names, so many legends, and perhaps even more. Some legends have very real roots. For example, it was believed that male Dryopteris (one of the most common species of fern) for its magical properties could serve this "shield" the man — make him rich and invisible to others.
In many Russian provinces fern called svetitsvet or fireflower Perun (in honor of the god of thunder and lightning Perun), as it was believed that once a year (the night before Midsummer Day) fern begins to bloom beautiful, glowing brightly in the night flower.
It can be assumed, where did this belief: closer to the middle of summer in the forest (including, and ferns) appear all kinds of fireflies. And since the fern in the woods more than enough people who are deaf often at night, it might seem that these bright, but cold light burning flowers of the plant. Thus was born the legend of the flowering times a year bracken, then developed into many other beliefs.
In search of treasure
"One farmer was looking for a lost day before Midsummer cow, into the midnight, he accidentally caught a bush fern, flower and wonderful hit him in the bast. Immediately became clear to him all the past, present and future, it is easy to find a missing cow Swedan the many hidden treasures in the land and seen enough of leprosy witches. When the farmer returned to the family home, hearing his voice and seeing him, horrified, but then he took off his shoes and dropped the flower — and at that moment all saw him. With the loss of the flower and ended his omniscience, had forgotten about those places which recently admired the buried treasure … "(Afanas'ev," Poetic views on the nature of the Slavs ")
In a much more ancient writings — written Travnik — said: "And Now this herb most of strongest of the treasure, the king of flowers — paporot grass."
It is clear that many are willing to find a fern flower and instant wealth. On the basis of beliefs and was born the night before the holiday of Ivan Kupala, when the farmers all the village went to the forest fires kindled there, singing and dancing, and then one by one went to look for the precious flower.
Unfortunately, no precious treasures fern not find help, and not because he is not a magic fern, but because he actually never blooms — Biologists have long found out that the plant reproduces by spores.
In the fall tiny fern spores fall on the ground from the mother plant. Soon their shell bursts, and the content is becoming a so-called zarostok. He looks like a small green label fixed to the ground with fine hairs. After a while on the lower side of the plate formed with a diverse and rather complex structure nipples — genitals fern. When it's the right time (usually in damp, rainy weather), buds burst and mature sperm in them, "waterway" reach the eggs. After fertilization begins to grow a new fern, but the usual size it reaches us only after many years.
However, this finding does not diminish the truly "magical" properties of fern. The ancient Romans and Greeks rightly regarded medicinal plant fern. About ferns mentioned in his writings, Pliny the Elder. Its medicinal properties were knowledgeable Bukharan scholar Avicenna. In ancient Russia healers using the healing properties of this plant, people were driven from worms, with which at the time many were sick. A fern just was (and is) a very good anthelmintic. So who owned this secret could quite easily and get rich quickly, as in Russia and in Europe. For example, the French King Louis XVI paid a huge sum in those days (18,000 francs) to the widow of a Swiss surgeon Nuffery secret of one of the anthelmintic.
Interestingly, the fern is not only a medicinal plant. Some of his views can be eaten. For example, young leaf petiole (rachis), bracken (one of the most common species of fern) salted and are happy to eat the inhabitants of East Asia, China, Japan and the Far East. Rachis in fresh food unfit, they contain a bitter, before using them to either boil or saline. The Japanese believe that the rachis only need to cook in a copper pot, then they will retain the bright green color, and the taste of the presence of copper has no effect.
In the XIX century. the Canary Islands, New Zealand, America and Australia, where the fern also grows in many of its dried and crushed rhizomes even bake bread.
In Canada and some states of the North American species of fern has called strausnik. This plant — traditional spring meal Indians. Its leaves do not contain harmful substances and can strausnik without treatment used to prepare various dishes. In Russia, too, are growing two species of fern, but we have it as the food is much less known.