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sensitive fern

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noun
a common, widely distributed fern, Onoclea sensibilis, having large, triangular leaves and beadlike spikes that contain the spores.
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Origin of sensitive fern

An Americanism dating back to 1805–15; so called from the sensitivity of its foliage to frost
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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