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male fern

a bright-green fern, Dryopteris filix-mas, of Europe and northeastern North America.
Origin of male fern
First recorded in 1555-65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for male fern

male fern

a fern, Dryopteris filix-mas, having scaly stalks and pinnate fronds with kidney-shaped spore-producing bodies on the underside: family Polypodiaceae
Word Origin
C16: so called because it was formerly believed to be the male of the lady fern
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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