male fern

male fern

noun
a bright-green fern, Dryopteris filix-mas, of Europe and northeastern North America.

Origin:
1555–65

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World English Dictionary
male fern
 
n
a fern, Dryopteris filix-mas, having scaly stalks and pinnate fronds with kidney-shaped spore-producing bodies on the underside: family Polypodiaceae
 
[C16: so called because it was formerly believed to be the male of the lady fern]

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