Male-fern meaning

A fern (Dryopteris filix-mas) of Eurasia and North America, having stalks with brown scales and containing an oleoresin formerly used to expel tapeworms.
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A fern (Dryopteris filix-mas) of the Northern Hemisphere: source of an oleoresin used to expel tapeworms.
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A fern (Dryopteris filix-mas) of Eurasia and North America, having stalks with brown scales and containing an oleoresin formerly used to expel tapeworms.
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Dryopteris filix-mas, from which is derived a vermifuge preparation.
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Origin of male-fern

  • Ultimately from a translation of Latin mās male (used by Pliny the Elder to describe a variety of this fern, in reference to its robustness and in contrast to a more delicate fern that he calls nymphaea filix literally, nymph fern)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition